Radhika Apte opens up on sexual abuse
30 April, 2018, 1:46 pm
Radhika Apte has spoken out about sexual harassment in the Indian film industry in a new documentary, which also sees her chronicle why victims are too scared to come forward. In a BBC World News report, to be aired this weekend, Apte opens up on the culture of silence in Bollywood, mainly because its stars are so revered.
“Some people are regarded as Gods. They are so powerful that people just don’t think that my voice is going to matter, or people think that if I speak, probably my career is going to get ruined,” Radhika Apte tells BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan in Bollywood’s Dark Secret.
Asked what she thought about the #MeToo campaign against harassment in Hollywood, the Pad Man actor added, “The way the women, and the men, of course, came together and decided that as a team we are not going to let this happen, I wish that could happen here.” Marathi award-winning actor Usha Jadhav, also a part of the documentary, reveals that it is common for powerful men in the industry to demand sexual favours. Describing one conversation, she says that she was told she would need to give something in return for the opportunity she had been given.
“I said something on the lines of, ‘What? I don’t have money’. He said, ‘No, no, no, no. It’s not about money, it’s about you sleeping with, maybe it can be a producer, maybe it can be a director, it can be both too,” she said.
Vaidyanathan has also spoken to actors who have faced unwanted advances, as well as stars, who believe a dark secret lies behind Bollywood’s glamour. The documentary also interviews an aspiring actor, 25, who left her small village to chase her Bollywood dream, but says she was molested on a number of occasions, including the first time she met a casting agent.