Freida Pinto says her personal MeToo movement involves rejecting movies with men who she knows have been abusers.
From working with Woody Allen in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger to headlining an indie like Trishna, Freida has been one of the few successful Indian actors in the west. In an interview to indianexpress.com, the actor says it is disappointing and disturbing to see that the MeToo movement that brought forth stories of abuse of many female and male actors in Hollywood has found no takers in Bollywood.
“I refuse to work with someone that I know is a repeat offender. I wish I could do the same here (in India),” Freida said, after acknowledging that the society in the west and the system in Hollywood empowers its actors far more than what Hindi cinema does for its women.
“The whole MeToo movement in the west was possible because there was a lot of support, and a lot of research went into it. We all know who the people are in India. It is the same way everyone knew it was Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood, but someone had the courage, and in this case Ronan Farrow (journalist with The New Yorker) to get deep into his research and get support for these women and support them when that story would come out. You tell me one journalist in India who would do that and put his career on the line,” the actor said.
In late 2017, Farrow’s articles in The New Yorker helped uncover the sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Post the revelation, a social media campaign under the title of MeToo began globally wherein Hollywood actors and men and women across the world narrated their tales of harassment. While many Bollywood actors have opened up about the existence of sexual abuse in the film industry but no one has yet named and shamed the abusers, unlike in the west.
Freida Pinto believes another aspect that needs to be taken into account while analysing the difference in the manner that the MeToo movement fared in Hollywood and Bollywood is that even in the west, the female actors who first came out with their stories of harassment were the ones who were already out of work.
“The girls that came out first after the MeToo movement were the girls who had experienced something and were not working already. The girls that are active here came out much later. The known actresses should be grateful and thankful to the ones who had the courage to come out,” she said.