Everybody who aims to achieve the zenith in the film or television industry is not born with high fortunes. The star kids comparatively find it easier to seek opportunities and establish themselves when compared to a common man who struggles for long to have a successful debut. It is not merely talent that will aid you to mark yourself in this race, but something more, that has deepened its roots in this 'glimmer' world which is way beyond our thinking. 'The trading of sexual flavours by an aspirant, apprentice employee or subordinate to a superior in return for entry into an occupation, or for other career advancements within an organization, is what is known as the 'casting couch syndrome' or the 'casting couch mentality'.
Thanks to Wikipedia for such a simplified definition that has made it very easy for me to let you know, what this post is going to be about. Let us go through whether 'trading sex' for seeking job provisions really happens in the film industry or is only highlighted to maintain the headlines?
The phenomena though originated in Hollywood, and many of the Western film producing countries has completely vanished from there and found its main origin in the well-known Hindi film industry, Indian television and many of the B-grade films. While many people say that the newcomers in the industry continue to encounter it, others maintain silence from the fear of losing their post when asked to speak about it.
The term originated in the motion picture industry that refers to the couches in offices that could be used for sexual activity between casting directors or film producers and aspiring actors. The process starts much before the 'candidate' comes to meet the casting director. They need to pass 'several rounds' before they can meet the casting directors or producers.
The very versatile actress, better known for her role in 'Taare Zameen Par', Tisca Chopra has also been a victim of this incident. She reveals the harsh reality that she, as a newcomer had to face.
In a sting operation held by India TV, the badman of Bollywood, Shakti Kapoor and television star, Aman Verma was caught red-handed making advances to the starlet who was sent by the channel.
In the year 2011, actress Payal Rohatgi accused director Dibakar Banerjee, for trying to exploit her sexually and in return offer her a big role in his movie. Dibakar's friend and noted filmmaker, Anurag Kashyap took his side and called Payal as 'mentally unstable' for putting such allegations against Dibakar.
In 2004, starlet Preeti Jain accused the very known director, Madhur Bhandarkar of raping her for years and making false promises in return for offering her a role in his films. The case went on for several years, and in 2012, the Supreme Court took Bhandarkar's side and rejected the rape charges against him.
The heartthrob of Bollywood and every girl's recent favorite, actor Ranveer Singh also disclosed in an interview that he was forced for the casting couch and surprisingly by a producer who was known to be a true 'gentleman'. He was appreciated using cheap words and was asked to come to the washroom, where most of the casting couch incidents take place. Though he did not become a victim of it.
An industry source revealed that the television industry is also under the trap of casting couch. If an actress does not obey the orders of the people in important positions, she is replaced in serials or shows. The sudden disappearance of faces from the television serials is mostly because they refuse to compromise and participate in the scam.
'Parched' fame, actress Surveen Chawla said that she was very glad that she did not face this scandal in Bollywood, but she was approached for it in the South film industry and of course, she refused for that.
You know, nobody can be blamed for this flagrant phenomenon of casting couch because, as director Mahesh Bhatt says, 'The rot is within us'. We hope that some serious initiatives be taken by the Indian Film Industry supervisors so that this palpable shit dematerializes from our society, and we see some quality actors emerging out who take ahead the future of Indian cinema and television with their unadulterated talent and acting skills.