As we continue to reel under the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the Pandora’s Box it has opened, back home, television actor Sulagna Chatterjee recently took to social media to share a disturbing incident of ‘casting couch’ that people know is prevalent in showbizz but not many speak about it. Chatterjee had been recently propositioned, but instead of letting it go, she chose to speak about it. Though, what is worrying is the ‘casual attitude’ that seems to accompany such cases.
Taking to Instagram, she posted the screenshot of a chat she had with an agent regarding a project. The texts clearly state that the agent is talking on behalf of a director – who has not been identified, and neither does Chatterjee wish to identify the person – asking for a ‘compromise’. Now, it isn’t clear what sort of compromise the agent is talking about but it sure raises questions. In her post she wrote, ‘when such offers are so common that you are not even affected anymore!’
On contacting Chatterjee regarding the incident, the actor told InUth.com, “I just posted it casually and don’t want any publicity out of it. As far as the incident is considered, I had exchanged numbers with this guy for some work, but I did not remember him. He just suddenly dropped a message, and this was for an advertisement opposite a Bollywood A-lister. Of course was my first reaction was happiness, and then he explained that the shoot will last for one day. I was thinking he would ask me to come for a look test, but he texted about ‘a compromise’. The rest is in the screenshot. He went on to continue asking if I ever did ‘compro-projects’ and I said no, and said there is no point in asking me.”
She further elaborated on how it is the middlemen, who use the casting couch in the small screen industry, “I have never been offered anything like this by the topmost A-listers who work in the industry. All of these offers come from the middlemen who have nothing to do in life. I have never been told this by some director or producer- Tum yeh karo, main tumko star bana dunga.” Further, the actor stated that she did not understand why people were surprised about her speaking up about the matter.
Shalini Ojha from InUth.com contributed to this story. InUth is a sister website of IndianExpress.com.