Actor Aditi Rao Hydari has shared her #MeToo story and how she lost all hope of finding work when it happened. Aditi was speaking at the India Today Conclave South 2018 in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
Aditi said that though her experience with sexual harassment in the film industry wasn’t as severe as the accounts of other women, it still made her lose work for eight months. “I remember when I started, I was extra-naive because I came from a protected background. I didn’t know that the rumours were true, that things like this did happen. And honestly, I have not had such a bad time. I had one incident which actually didn’t harm me very much. But yes, I did lose work because I was given a choice – it’s either this or this. For me, it was a no-brainer. I had to walk away,” she said. Aditi said the incident made her hopeless about finding work again.
With positive support from her team, she found work again after eight months. Now, Aditi says that victims of harassment should be allowed to set their own pace. “I think you should speak about something only when you are ready. And when you don’t talk about it, people are like, ‘Oh, they were paid off’ or ‘oh, they were silenced,” she said.
Aditi spoke about casting couch in July as well to the Sunday Guardian.“I did lose work and I cried about it. I didn’t regret it but I cried about it because I felt so upset that this was true and this is how girls are treated. I was like, how dare someone speak to me like that! For about eight months [after the incident] I didn’t get work, but I feel that decision made me stronger in my intention about the kind of work I wanted to do,” she said.
“I think that everybody should do what they need to do, when they think it is right. That is what empowering a person is. This #MeToo movement is turning that on its head and taking that power away by putting these conditions and saying, ‘You must speak. If you don’t, that means you are giving in,’” she added.
Aditi reacted to the #MeToo movement in October as well with a cryptic tweet. “Slow clap for the dizzying heights of hypocrisy… People who are clearly guilty of major harassment giving gyaan on the #MeTooIndia movement…,” she had written in her tweet.
Aditi has worked in films like Rockstar and Bhoomi and her Telugu movie Antariksham 9000 kmph released this Friday.