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

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

After the Me Too movement in Hollywood gained viral proportions following shocking revelations of sexual harassment, and worse, against producer Harvey Weinstein last year, a steady stream of Indian actors, Bollywood and from the south, have been speaking about how our industries function and casting couch. Actors like Richa Chadha, Malayalam actors Parvathy, Rima Kallingal and Sruthi Hariharan, on different occasions, have spoken about harassment, online abuse and pay disparity.
Now, actor Ileana D’Cruz has also discussed the issue while speaking to media. While promoting her new film, Raid, she was asked by Bombay Times if young actors in India refrain from speaking about sexual harassment as they are afraid it will adversely affect their careers.
Ileana said, “It might sound cowardly, but I do agree that if you speak out about 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.”
With regard to sexual harassment, she said she would not take it. “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 worshipped. So it will take many voices for people to acknowledge that huge stars could have such an ugly side.”
Raid chronicles the exploits of Amay Patnaik, Lucknow’s deputy commissioner of Income Tax, played by Ajay Devgn. Ileana plays his wife in a drama directed by Raj Kumar Gupta. Raid releases March 16.