Richa Chadha, who was one of the first actors to talk about the existence of sexual harassment in Bollywood, says she finds it ironical when people who have benefited from the practice of casting couch, begin calling it wrong on public platforms in the post #MeToo time.
“Now I see a lot of beneficiaries of casting couch talking about it. They go like, ‘Oh! It’s so wrong!’ I scoff,” the actor told indianexpress.com in an interview. Since multiple allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced last November, the social media campaign ‘#MeToo’ has brought to the fore alleged incidents of sexual harassment across the world. The campaign, however, never picked up steam in India.
The Love Sonia actor blames it on the lack of infrastructure in Bollywood to protect its women. “Indian actors don’t have a strong union. They don’t have a legal help. If some woman gets up one day and says a name, I can write it down on a paper and sign it that no one will hire her again.
“For your scoop, she will give out a name and then who will support her? Who is going to take care of her family? No one’s going to do it till you put that cushioning, safety net. Even if there is a working actor (who speaks about it), they will be people who get royalty for the stuff that they have done, assuming they will not get hired again,” Richa Chadha said.
The actor further said that no one realises the opportunity cost for a woman to name her abusers. “I have written about the opportunity cost of sexism. It takes six Oscar winners to tell the world that this guy (Weinstein) is a douche. Didn’t we know that already? As a journalist, you also know who these dirty scumbags are.”
While she cannot speak for the rest of the industry. Richa is clear that she doesn’t collaborate with men who are known predators. “I don’t work with those people. I just feel I could not (compromise). I just can’t. What will I lose? Money? Doesn’t matter.”