Chitrangda Singh Said She’s Seen Casting Couch In Bollywood But Nobody Forces You. Erm, It IS A Kind Of Force
With great demand and limited supply comes the opportunists who leave no stone unturned to take advantage of this gap. Cigarettes and liquors are still being sold but at exorbitant prices, in black, as these sellers are taking advantage of the fact that tobacco and wine shops are shut. Similarly, in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, people were selling masks at a price that was way higher than what it should be. Sanitisers too were expensive and the often, sold more than MRP. Taking advantage of demand and need is the nature of businessmen and when you’re in the business of cinema, the stakes are too high.
We know that it may not be true for everyone but there are several people in Bollywood who like to trap a fish in the net of casting couch, using a good role as bait. With the sheer number of people trying to make it in the industry and the remuneration and rewards being so high, it isn’t uncommon for a lot of artists to give in.
However, while most actors try to dissociate themselves from commenting on anything related to casting couch in Bollywood, some chose to be unhesitant about it. This time, Chitrangda Singh has confirmed its existence. “Right from my modelling days to Bollywood, I have seen them at all times. The corporate industry is just as bad.”
She even revealed that she has witnessed it first hand, “Yes, it has happened to me but I would like to say that the Bollywood industry is not the place where anybody forces you. There is enough space and respect for everyone and their choices.” She further adds, “You do feel bad when you lose an opportunity but then those are the choices you make. So, you don’t sulk about it.”
While Chitrangda Singh doesn’t judge anyone who indulges in it, isn’t it really unfair? It promotes an unhealthy culture where people get opportunities not on the basis of talent but sexual favours.
In fact, in a recent interview, Sherlyn Chopra revealed that for these filmmakers who seek sexual favours, “dinner” is the code word for it. “Initially, when I was a nobody in the eyes of the world, I would often approach filmmakers hoping that they would see in me the potential that I saw in me. I would go to them with my portfolio and they would be like ‘Achcha okay, theek hai, hum milte hai dinner par (Okay, let us meet for dinner)’. And I would be like, ‘When should I come for dinner?’, and they would tell me to come at 11 or 12 in the night. And I used to be clueless about it that time,” Chopra told Koimoi.
She further revealed that she eventually understood what it means, “For them, dinner means compromise. So when this happened like four to five times, then I realised, ‘So, that is what dinner stands for!’ Dinner means, ‘Come to me, baby.’” After that, Chopra said she told them she doesn’t do dinners and she stopped getting reverts. Wow!
Four More Shots Please actress Maanvi Gagroo too had a casting couch experience which left her feeling furious. “A year ago, I got a call from a random unknown number. They were like, ‘we’re doing a web series and we wanted to cast you’. They told me the budget and I said, ‘no, this is too less and why are we talking about the budget? Tell me the script,” Gagroo revealed. When she said the budget is too less, he said he’ll triple it if she can “compromise”. “This words ‘compro’, ‘compromise’ — I was hearing it after seven or eight years. Suddenly, I don’t know what triggered me, I started abusing him. I told him ‘How dare you? I’m going to file a complaint with the police’. I was really mad because in this pro-imposed #MeToo era, I was baffled how things like this still happen,” she further revealed.
ALSO READ: Surveen Chawla Opens Up About The Casting Couch. With So Many Actresses Talking About It, We Hope It’s A Deterrent
However, like Chitrangda said you always have a choice and you won’t be forced into it. But at the same time, not everyone is in a strong place mentally, emotionally, financially. And whether they do it out of choice or not, it does give them an unfair advantage over others. In the end, the casting couch is nothing but the corruption of art.