Malhaar Rathod, an aspiring teenage actor recently attended an interview and spoke about casting couch. Malhaar Rathod’s experience with what is euphemistically known as Casting couch. s*xual harassment culture underlines the challenges facing anyone seeking to break into India’s massive, insiders-only film industry, where the #MeToo movement has secured few wins. Malhaar Rathod recalled a scarring casting couch experience when she was a teenager. India’s glamorous film industry is no stranger to stories about the casting couch.
Malhaar Rathod said, “When I came to Mumbai in 2008, as a teenager to test the luck in the entertainment industry, a 65-year-old Indian film producer asked me to lift the top. After hearing this, I walked away from there.”
Malhaar Rathod, who is now an up-and-coming television star, added, “The producer claimed he had a part for me and then asked me to lift my top. I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do at first.” This was Malhaar Rathod’s horrible experience when she came to Mumbai.
As Hollywood undergoes a churn set off by the #MeToo movement against s*xual harassment, Bollywood, too, maybe slowly acknowledging its own dirty secrets. A number of actors and actresses such as Usha Jadhav, Radhika Apte, and Kalki Koechlin have spoken out about being asked for s*xual favors in exchange for roles.