Blind Item(Rajeev Masand) – Casting Couch – 26th Jan
Rajeev Masand’s latest blind item speaks about the notorious casting couch.
While Hollywood ladies have openly taken off big shots who wronged the, Bollywood is yet to take a stand. If our sources are to believed casting couch is very much prevalent in Bollywood. But it is not only the makers who are to be blamed. Stars too don’t shy away from spending the night with prominent film makers with hopes of landing a role in their next flick. After all successful producers-directors are only a handful.
The India TV tapes where a famous villain spoke about the casting couch is a 100% true. The actresses he named actually did sleep for favors. A Srilankan import is the gf of a producer who has an excellent track record. She dated a director whose movies were produced always by her current bf. He was exiled by the industry due to his verbal diarrhea. The actress then promptly dumped him & moved on to greener pastures. A hunk who is an outsider is the closet bf of a TV show host-reality TV judge-producer-director. All his movies are always produced by his sugar daddy. For aspiring actresses, there is always the bhai of bollywood who will help you out. All you have to do is make him believe that you are into him. Some women are shrewd enough to befriend his sisters & then wiggle their way into his circle! The things celebs do to succeed in Bollywood will make you puke!
The discussion around sexual harassment and exploitation at the workplace has gotten louder on local shores too.
I’ve heard the professional conduct of at least two popular casting directors being seriously discussed at recent gatherings. Two former assistants of one influential casting head revealed that their jobs involved “cleaning up” after their boss had “had her way” with some young hopeful. They described the said big shot’s appetite for strapping young fellas as an “open secret”. The same person was known to make young girls who came to her for acting opportunities especially insecure about their bodies, routinely recommending cosmetic surgery and “boob jobs” to correct their ‘shortcomings’.
The second casting director, I was informed, had a habit of sending messages to young women he was professionally mentoring,asking them to come for “meetings” late at night. He was infamous among cinema strugglers for showering extra attention on women who were “pliable”.
From what one has been given to understand, these examples are a drop in the ocean when it comes to exploitation in tinsel town. The fear of taking names remains one of the reasons that culprits aren’t taken to task. But in a landscape where men openly accused of crossing the line continue to go about their lives without fear of consequence, it’s hard to say when ‘time’s up’ will be called for sexual misconduct in Bollywood.
Female Casting Director: Shanoo Sharma