Surveen Chawla Opens Up About The Casting Couch. With So Many Actresses Talking About It, We Hope It’s A Deterrent
I was 21 years old when I landed my first full time job in a big corporate as an auditor. And I ignored the fact that writing had always been my calling. The most I would write at this job were sad emails and yet I was excited to start off my career. Turns out, I shouldn’t have been. Because the standards of people in the corporate world were inversely proportional to my level of excitement and expectations, as there are everywhere, for that matter. From misusing power, to intimidating younger colleagues to trade sexual favours, workplaces are full of predators. Yes, it does seem bleak but then so was this piece of news. Bollywood and other film industries are no different, worse even. We say this after Surveen Chawla opened up about her experiences in the early stages of struggle.
The Sacred Games actress, Surveen Chawla who stared her career on television recently opened up about her struggle and e thhorrific experiences she had to endure while trying to make it big in the industry. She shared how she was body shamed by being called ‘overweight’ at 56 kgs and other times, lead towards the casting couch by cheap and sleazy directors and producers in the industry.
Also Read : Surveen Chawla AKA ‘Jojo’ Reveals She Wants To Work More In The Digital Space Because TV Content Is Not Interesting
She said, “A director wanted to see how my cleavage looked. Another director wanted to see how my thighs looked,” she further said, “I went to give this audition and the person told me, ‘You are overweight’. I was just 56 kilos and I thought the person needed to get his eyes checked.” And honestly, we think he needed to get a lot more than just his eyes checked. The fact that, such lewd and shady concepts of casting couch still exist with several women being subjected to it, is not just infuriating, it is disheartening. Because, it unravels the harsh reality of just how skewed the dynamics are in in favour of the powers that be, talent be damned.
Surveen Chawla also shed light on how certain producers used the fact that she had been working for the small screen for too long, as an excuse to call her ‘over exposed’ and reject her. She said, “For sometime, I tried to hide it from producers and tell them I did TV only for a year but I realised later that ‘Why am I doing this?’ Isn’t it going to be easier for a team to get someone who already knows how to do their lines?” But guess they weren’t really looking for someone to run lines with.
Sharing another horrible incident, from the time she was trying her luck in the south movie industry, she said, “I was asked to accompany a director for a recce and he said to me, ‘Ma’am, I want to know every inch of your body.’ I could not believe my ears as to what I am hearing.”
We are glad that Surveen Chawla didn’t let these instances and experiences get the best of her, as she moved on to become a celebrated and talented actress in the industry, especially with her latest stint in Sacred Games season 2. But her being bold enough to speak up about the damning reality of film industry should act as a warning signal for the predators to retreat. Because the women are not staying mum any longer, and sexual favors or not, talent always finds its way to the top and Surveen Chawla is proof.