If you speak out about the casting couch, it will end your career: Ileana D’Cruz

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Bollywood actor Ileana D’Cruz has said that speaking out against the casting couch in the Indian film industry would destroy an actor’s career.

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Speaking to Bombay Times, A Times of India brand, Ileana said, “It might sound cowardly, but I do agree that if you speak out about the casting couch, it will end your career. Years ago, a junior artiste down South, who was being propositioned by a big producer, sought my advice on how to deal with it. I told her that it’s something that I couldn’t decide for her. It is her decision and that nobody could force it on her. Many people have done it and it’s up to her whether she wants to go ahead and do it or not.

“As far as exploitation and harassment is concerned, I wouldn’t stand for it. The fact of the matter is that if an A-list star is accused of something like this, you will require a large number of people to come forward, including A-list actresses and actors, to make a difference. Actors in this country are worshiped. So it will take many voices for people to acknowledge that huge stars could have such an ugly side.”

Not so long ago, actor Richa Chadha had said that she was ready to name and shame people involved in casting couch if her safety was guaranteed. She was quoted by PTI as saying, “If you give me pension for life, take care of my safety, my family, ensure I’ll continue to get work in films and TV or whatever I want to do, my career will grow unabated as it is right now after I name and shame somebody, sure I will. Not just me, million others will do that. But who will do it?”

Richa had also told Firstpost that she was forced to send messages and go on a date with an actor and when she refused because the actor in question was married, she was told to start a relationship with a cricketer to “boost her career growth.”

Last month, one of Bollywood’s leading producers, Ekta Kapoor, had made a sensational revelation on the prevalent phenomenon of casting couch in Bollywood. Speaking at a Town Hall event organised by an English channel, Ekta had said that it was not fair to always blame people in power for complaints of sexual harassment.

“In our industry, if one actor meets a producer at 2 a.m. and hooks up with him and after five days, if she wants a job based on that and the producer doesn’t give the job because he wants personal and professional things separate, then who is the victim here? The interpretation is always that the powerful person took advantage of the poor little budding actor or something that is always not the truth,” she was quoted by IANS.

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