Amid the #Metoo movement where actresses like Sri Reddy, Ileana D’Cruz and several others protested against casting couch, Saroj Khan has reportedly defended the culture. According to ANI report, the popular choreographer said that there was nothing new in casting couch in Bollywood because it "at least gives livelihood". Saroj Khan has choreographed Bollywood celebrities such as Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor among others.
Casting couch is not new to Bollywood. Every now and then actors and actresses have opened up about their experience with the casting couch but have consciously refrained from taking any names.
However, the choreographer added that it's not new in Bollywood, and it's up to the woman to decide if she wants to take the plunge or not.
As per the report, Saroj Khan said, “It depends on the girl, if she wants to be on the 'casting couch' or not. Why would you want to sell yourself if you are confident about your talent? Don't blame the film industry, woh humara mai baap."
Yeh chala aa raha hai Baba azam ke zamaane se. Har ladki ke upar koi na koi haath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai. Govt ke log bhi karte hain. Tum film industry ke peeche kyun pade ho? Woh kam se kam roti toh deti hai. Rape karke chhod toh nahi deti: Saroj Khan on Casting Couch. pic.twitter.com/xvHxSbvhzg— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
As soon as Saroj Khan's statement hit the internet, there was complete buzz everywhere. Singer Sophie Choudry took to Twitter and said, "WTH?!!!! So much respect for Saroj-ji as a choreographer but this is how she uses her position to protect girls?!!! If I didn’t come from a financially sound background I would have returned to London within a month of being in mumbai cos of “industry folk” who think like that!!".
Several Bollywood celebrities in the past have spoken about sexual harassment in the film industry, reaching out to those who might have been going through it, or have been through the same ordeal.
Kangana Ranaut spoke her heart out at the launch of journalist Barkha Dutt's book, 'This Unquiet Land'. The bold actor spoke about the time when she was physically abused and hit by a certain someone from the industry, who she didn't name, in her early days.