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Unglamorous business in the glamorous world
Jamwal Mahadeep Singh8/18/2018 11:02:12 PM
If you look confident, you can pull off anything. Even if you have no clue what you are doing. It is the attractiveness and allurement of the growing buds on life's tree accrued by our appealing angels from the life style of 'female characters' of glamorous film industry, a show off, but deceptive in nature. A film has the potential to inflame such a spark of inspiration in an individual that it can alter the course of human progress. When we talk about movie house, all that comes to our minds is acting, cinematography, sound effects, editing among other things but it is more than what the world perceives of it. There is a lesser known side of our film industry. Indian glamorous industry is all about costume dramas, catchy audio/video songs full of provocation and nudity, 'cheap entertainer' and more. It's the most unglamorous business in the glamorous world. This show cases the abundant money and trendy life style. The alluring industry is full of glamour and flashiness. Most people wish to have a luxurious and glamorous life like Bollywood celebrities while some want to have the same prominence as they relish. The dark face of this illustrious illusion is always kept under the carpet. Some directors and filmmakers take passionate advantage and favor from aspiring film actors or actresses in exchange movie roles. Many newcomers have gone through this mental and physical persecution in order to get a role. The immature minds get trapped by the flashy life story of the female characters, distracted with desire or excitement in the power to entice or attract through personal charm, without having any knowledge of the compromises; they have to take up to get them casted in silky world of the glamour industry. There are other crazy facts that leave us stunned that blow our mind. In the run up, we come across a very catchy word 'casting couch' in film industry that plainly speaking is asking intimate favors in return for giving a role or chance in films. It's an infamous 'extra audition' that has little to do with testing acting ability but everything to do with achieving frenzy for those who influence casting decisions. The proverbial casting couch phenomenon has been a reality over the years since women made their foray into the world of films and entertainment. The 'casting couch' even in Hollywood has long been known as the place where carnal favors are demanded by a powerful film producer or director from aspiring actors or actresses who want a role in their production. But at the same time we should not be carried away that everyone has to go to casting couch as many good number of people are there who are sincerely doing their work. The increasing number of aspirants for being an actor, from across the country, takes their steps to Bollywood and many wicked producers/film makers, touts, fraudsters and middle men take advantage of such desires. They promise the aspirants of roles in the movies while they force them into physical relations. Even although the aspirants are supremely talented, the only way they are going to get the role was on the casting couch. Recently we are encountered with the revelations of one leading film star 'Aditi Rao Hydari' who has come forward to speak about the casting couch issue in film industries. Speaking to a web site, she repulsed that "If anyone has been misused and they are living with that unhappiness, then they have every right to speak out and they should. If they don't, it's because of the fear of losing work. It's about power play in the industry, and you should nip it in the bud. What is the fear, that you won't get work? If you are talented, the right people will call you. They need to understand why they are there in the film industry. If they are there for the love of the medium, they will get work. This is my naive belief but I'm a living example of that." When asked about her thoughts on casting couch. She reacted that initially she used to lose work because she didn't give in to the demands. "I was like, how dare someone speak to me like that? For about eight months I didn't get work, but I feel that decision made me stronger in my intention about the kind of work I wanted to do. Sometimes you need to see a situation, deal with it, get out and be very comfortable with it, and that's how I felt". It is not the first time that Aditi Rao Hydari has come forward to speak about the casting couch issue in film industries. Years ago, the 'Kaatru Veliyidai' actress opened up about the issue, but the debate was not as prevalent back then as it is now. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Tamil actor is another celebrity to speak out about being subjected to sexual harassment in the film industry. She had revealed about a TV channel where programming head made suggestive comments towards her, insinuating that she'd have to give in to his demands if they were to continue the work relationship.
The casting couch mentality has been around ever since the beginning of the film industry, when powerful movie tycoon would make sexual advances to young or vulnerable prey in return for a role in a film, to be 'made a star', or to be introduced to other powerful people who might be able to give their career a leg-up. There are number of leading actors/actresses, who have commented on the casting couch as in real existence and various search engines are loaded about this information and those speaking of it as a reality. Any sexual harassment policy deprives its implementation as the people you have to worry about never think the rules apply to them. No foolproof method exists for stopping determined people from doing bad things. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, does not accommodate the act of casting couch as victim is a third party, who is not a worker in the aspect of the Act on the work place, but a party looking for a role, invited to hotels or other such places and a consenting party to this act termed as 'casting couch'. The fact, however, is that the casting couch is structured into the construct of the careers by young girls and even young men, in films or modeling, therefore, nothing comes of these complaints because the perpetrators, more powerful than their so-called victims, run scot free claiming that it was consensual act and there was no force involved.
While scrolling for more information on the subject, I encountered an article 'Casting couch v/s workplace abuse: A thin line' posted on 7th March 2014, on search engines that contains view of many those related with film industry. A veteran journalist writes '"The casting couch is no myth. It exists, though its relevance and power have been magnified. A lot of starlets fall onto the 'couch' and get signed repeatedly by one producer or the other". Many well known film actresses have reacted from time to time as: "There are no virgins in filmdom. If you believe there are, you would still find men doing female roles", the word 'industry' linked to films gave it a dignity it does not deserve. "It is a racket, not an industry", a former Miss World whose career in films and modeling did not go the way her beauty title did, went on record to say that "the casting couch does exist and it depends on the person concerned to surrender or to opt out", "the truth is that the casting couch is not restricted to female artistes alone, it is applicable to the boys as well. I have known male actors who have had to make compromises in order to bag roles", in 2007, a well known singer expose the character of this film industry to some extent, when he dramatically spilled the can of dirty worms of our entertainment fraternity by saying that film industry consists of many gays and homosexuals and accepted that many young actors and musicians are asked to go through different favors. Some years ago, some actors were caught on India TV through a 'sting operation' asking sexual favors from aspiring starlets while promising roles to them but the issue fizzled out raising questions about its authenticity.
Concluding for every such aspirant who made it to the billboards, there are hundreds of strivers who surrendered to the casting couch but ended up streetwalking, or pimping for would-be starlets, or becoming a 'junior artiste' in films. But the fact remains that it had been left to individual to play the game or quit. Most play the game and a few quit. The casting couch is never empty. A young aspirant has the option of walking out when someone within the film industry makes a pass at her.
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