Actor Swara Bhaskar has sensationally claimed that she was a victim of sexual harassment in the Hindi film industry on a multiple occasions. Her claims came just days after Hollywood was rocked by allegations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had harassed and molested over 50 women including top names.
Bhaskar told Mid-Day, “The way a film set operates is often feudal and always hierarchal, where some people give instructions and others execute them…Conditions at the workplace are ripe for sexual harassment, more so because victims can be easily silenced.”
Recounting she was once hounded by the director of a film that she was shooting outdoor for sexual favours.
She said, “During a 56-day outdoor shoot at a remote location when I was still fairly new, the director harassed me with texts and dinner invites. He stalked me during the day and called me through the night. I was asked to go to his hotel room on the pretext of discussing a scene and would find him drinking. During the first week itself, he started talking about love and sex, and one night, he arrived in my room, drunk and asking to be hugged. It was scary!”
She said she was young and alone adding that she ‘would switch off the lights after packing up, and remove my make-up in the dark, so he would think I was asleep and stop calling me.’
She said that the director in question did stop after she told him how uncomfortable he was making her feel, and that she would leave the project if he continued to misbehave with her.
“I finally confided in the executive producer and made sure that I was escorted everywhere,” she said.