Most of the people in the film industry hesitate to express their fears and point of views regarding the existence of casting couch syndrome in the media. On the other hand, whether it’s Hollywood, Bollywood or Lollywood there is no lack of such cases in any film industry. Actors also came forward to express about their experiences, yet the majority of them never named the culprits.
What is Casting Couch Syndrome?
For the clearance of this term let’s get a brief definition so that moving forward in this topic might seem easy and relevant,
“Well, casting couch syndrome or casting couch mentality is the term which represents the thinking and the mental approach of producers, media agents, and directors who demand sexual favors from the actors and other staff for featuring them in their team or project!”
Victims of success
This myth come reality took hype from Hollywood in the 1910s when that film industry groomed and the concept of proper studios began. Many media tycoons were the part of this practice, and many successful actresses were the victims of success at that time if that we can say.
There are many stories which are directly affiliated with this mentality, no matter how much famous actors are there but once in their life they have faced such people who want to use them for their purposes and then offer them the project. Let’s discuss some notable and essential celebrities and their encounters with casting couch syndrome.
Meghan fox (one of the most famous Hollywood diva) claimed in 2009 that The culprits are the most famous legends and even if you are famous or not, your excitement turns into regret when you realize that their call for the meeting was something else! Meghan expressed that she experienced all this after she got fame! Means for them fame does not matter because these media moguls think they can destroy anyone.
Then Kyle Richard also said in 2017, that a producer said perverted things to her and asked a favor from her when she was invited to discuss a role for the Beverly Hills Hotel when she was young.
Recently in May 2018, Harvey Weinstein was also accused of introducing this terminology of casting couch to many actors and actresses in Hollywood
Now let’s talk about Bollywood
In India, many people seemed concern!
From Harvey Weinstein to Michael Fallon ‘casting couch syndrome’ getting an airing?What about India where casting couches go beyond filmdom?
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) November 3, 2017
Casting Couch is also a form of rape!
Kareena is holding up a placard against rape. Wonderful. How about addressing the 'casting couch syndrome' in Bollywood first? After all, casting couch is a kind of rape isn't it? Where aspiring actresses are forced to oblige producers, directors & actors to further their career? https://t.co/sQs7q6I6w9
— Moral Victory 🇮🇳 (@lakshmianand96) April 15, 2018
Where there are many molesters like Nana Patekar, there are many blunt, and bold females like Kangana Ranaut and Tanushree Dutta stood forward, but still, these actors hesitate to speak names of the people involved in this casting couch act. According to Kangana Ranaut, It’s you who decides which way to go! Even at the age of 17, she knew that it wasn’t the right way to get fame. But at the same time The Queen of Bollywood” shared her me too with the director of her movie Queen. Where she said that the director used to molest her whenever he used to meet her.
Whereas, Ranveer Singh states that casting couch is not a myth and he faced it as well, during his struggling period. He said that the offer was made by a producer yet he declined it and tackled the situation.
Ayusman Khurrana, on the other hand, said that just because he was straight, he refused to accept the offer by the producer. If he wasn’t straight, he might have availed this offer!
And Them Come defenders and corrupts!
Then there are those people who not only hide the real stories of survivors but also protect the criminally minded perverts. Same is the case with Saroj Khan, the famous choreographer as she defends casting couch in her interview and defends rapist too with the most illogical references!
Veteran Choreographer Saroj Khan gave a bizarre justification of prevailing casting couch situation in the film industry, claiming that 'casting couch at least provides livelihood' pic.twitter.com/Gh0FguJJ0s
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) April 24, 2018
And Rakhi Sawant, the protection she gave to Nana Patekar and the Press conference she organized to accuse Tanushree, was so stupid and unbelievably the biggest propaganda!
Why Is The Casting Couch existence Very Low In Lollywood?
Now the question here is that what is the exact reason behind the subbed reality of casting couch in Pakistan’s film and media industry. Might be the victims do not speak as they have chosen their path or the mafia is very strong!
When are we going to see the women who work in fashion and in film/TV in Pakistan about the sexual harassment and casting couch syndrome that they have to endure — it's far more prevalent than you think
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) April 19, 2018
But my experience says that pure art form and the performance need to get a proper channel for entering this field. These myths and the realities could get exterminated when there will be appropriate auditions, and everyone will have to perform to get a role. Talent needs to be recognized on the basis of performance in front of the camera or stage, rather than Couch!