2018 – October – Bollywood Blind Item 6

Last year around this time, Hollywood actresses went all out to out their accusers, harassers, molesters, and rapists. Women from outside Hollywood also felt the courage to stand up and speak up. This year, it’s happening in India starting with Bollywood, courtesy of Tanushree Dutta. The thing is, now that women are coming out their stories, hopefully, that would inspire the men who have been wronged and taken advantage of to stand up and speak up. It is not that easy for the men to do that, but here’s to hoping.

For now, big actors are still very much quiet about what is taking place. They are probably having sleepless nights thinking what would happen if someone speaks up against them. Unfortunately, this will not happen unless someone talks. Like Imran Khan (the actor, not the lentils rubber lover) said:

I believe it will not. No. The names are too big and too prevalent and it is way way big and woven into the fabric of the industry. My opinion is for that a lot of names will come out and a lot of people will bear the brunt of it but I don’t think it will affect things at the higher up level. At this point all the names that are out, the big names are Tanmay Bhatt and Alok Nath so this is the level we are at right now. You and I both know the names go much much much higher. But those actresses whom I have worked with or the victims who have been harassed, if they chose to recognise themselves as it is their story to tell and if they can out themselves and name the people whom I am talking about then I will stand by them. That is the very least I owe them. I will say that look I was there and if you ever speak up please know that I am on your side and I will support you

Whatever your position is at a company, it’s immoral and unprofessional to stay advantage of your power. Wish the men and women of power in Bollywood realize that and change themselves for the better.

Check out the blind item by PinkVilla.

 

 

Bollywood Blind Item

2018 - October - Bollywood Blind Item 6

 

Woman alleged of sexual harassment in this production house

A film organisation has received a complaint against a female creative producer, who is also involved in making some of the most crucial casting decisions in films, alleging her of sexual assault.

The Me Too movement is spreading in India like wildfire. After a few prominent names from Bollywood came under the scanner for their alleged involvement in sexual harassment cases, a lot of women have opened up on Twitter and have shared their harrowing experiences. From their bosses to co-stars, no is being spared. While the audience is still coping up with the shocking revelations made by the women across, we have stumbled upon yet another shocking incident of sexual harassment, this time done by a woman to a man.

A film organisation has received a complaint against a female creative producer, who is also involved in making some of the most crucial casting decisions in films, alleging her of sexual assault. A copy of the complaint has also been sent to the production house, where the female employee has been working. A source in the know revealed about the same and also added, “The complainant isn’t willing to disclose his identity. But if he agrees to come on record then the film body will register an official complaint and only then the production house will also be able to take action. But an unofficial complaint has been raised against the lady in question.”

Well, looking at the number of Me Too revelations that have come out on social media, this is indeed alarming. Though we are yet to see what action is taken against the offenders.

 

OSOP Guesses

Woman: Shanoo Sharma

Production House: Yash Raj Films

2018 - October - Bollywood Blind Item 6

 

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21 Responses

  1. Mila says:

    In the first blind. The guy could calso be that Patil guy of YRF talent. Stories abt him have come to fore on Twitter.

  2. Tina says:

    In fuedal India, when all economic and political power vested with landlords, Rajas and Nawabs, women from vulnerable communities had no choice but to sleep with them.

    Film and Media Industry is the same. Too much power is vested with these men (and some women) – consent doesn’t really come into the picture. In fact this is also the principle behind statutory rape. Too much power is inherent in an adult, a child’s consent is moot under the circumstances.

    It’s as simple as this. If you are in a professional environment, you have no business sleeping with a subordinate. That right there is abuse of power. If the movie and media Industry wants to be recognized as a Industry, wants loans, SOPs, tax breaks, cheap land etc, it will have to become a place where all Indians can work without being discriminated against. Women have a right to work as much as men do, in any field of our choosing, and we are absolutely entitled to a safe work environment.

    • essesspa says:

      Well put, Tina. I highly recommend Ketan Mehta’s film Mirch Masala with the superb Smita Patil in it! MM is a period film set in colonial times, but is still very relevant to the Bollywood context!

  3. Lucy says:

    Maybe this woman will get fired,just read that Aamir Khan refused to work with Subhash Kapoor who had harassed Geetika Tyagi .with the big stars forced to take action,these small Fry’s will be exposed soon.

    • Amanda says:

      Aamir Khan himself is a creep.. Cant expect big stars to do anything unless its a small fry,they can use for publicity…

      Read this Firstpost article on Anurag Kashyap and how he is using dissolution of Phantom to his own advantage… The production house was under losses for a long time and the talks of dissolution were underway since some time.. But they chose to use the accusations against Vikas to close the production house and now they are portraying themselves as champions of woman’s cause..

      https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/phantom-films-all-india-bakchod-and-metoo-in-india-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-edgelords-5346531.html

      • Lucy says:

        Amanda,that’s why I said forced to act.aamir was asked about tanushree and he gave no support.he might have seen the backlash he got and is using this opportunity to show how he cares about women,as well as how good husband he is.kill two birds with one stone.he leaked pictures of him visiting producers guild to discuss safety of women meet,along with kiran.also the statement released is written in a way to show that he is so in love with Kiran,and everything he does she is with him .like a joint statement,also showing off as how his production house is theirs.when I doubt he even considers her suggestions for anything.kiran is infact the worst doormat wife ever,she went ahead to explain casting of Fatima in thugs,atleast the other wives maintain a silence when it comes to their husbands mistresses.but Kiran goes out of her way to show the world that everything is okay,and Fatima is like a daughter.

  4. Monalisa says:

    The United Nations General Recommendation 19 to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women defines sexual harassment of women to include:

    “such unwelcome sexually determined behavior as physical contact and advances, sexually colored remarks, showing po*nography and sexual demands, whether by words or actions. Such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem; it is discriminatory when the woman has reasonable ground to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment, including recruitment or promotion, or when it creates a hostile working environment.”

    Both Harvey Weinstein’s and Bill Cosby’s lawyer used casting couch as a defence to their crimes. In hollywood casting couch has long been an effective shield for powerful men accused of abuse. 

    Weinstein’s lawyer and spokesperson Benjamin Brefman said in an interview with The Times of London, “The casting couch in Hollywood was not invented by Harvey Weinstein.” … “If a woman decides that she needs to have sex with a Hollywood producer to advance her career and actually does it and finds the whole thing offensive, that’s not rape.” Rhetorically addressing such a woman, Brafman said, “You made a conscious decision that you’re willing to do something that is personally offensive in order to advance your career.”

    Bill Cosby’s lawyers employed during a hearing in 2016 before the actor’s first sexual-assault trial. “The age-old ‘casting couch’ is not unique to Mr. Cosby, and thus not a ‘signature’ nor a basis for the admissibility of these witnesses’ stories, let alone a conviction,” 

    Harvey Weinstein’s response to rape/forced sexual acts/casting couch allegation was “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

    https://www.google.mv/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/562643/

    https://www.google.mv/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna877916

    • Lucy says:

      Thanks for the info,this is why I asked.because as of now in India if you offer sexual favours in favour of money or job opportunity then you will be punishable by law.in casting couch where there is no coercion the lines blur between harassment and solicitation.this is why a lot of victims who in a way agree to trade favours do not come out,as they get counter sued with solicitation/prostitution cases.

    • Monalisa says:

      Lucy, if you have not already, you should read up on Weinstein and Crosby’s cases.Horrific stuff. Their defence against sexual harassment is casting couch. According to them it is merely bad behaviour practised by many since a long time.

      In Crosby and Weinstein’s case the accuser’s of sexual assault and rape (I’m not talking about people who came out with stories of attempted sexual assaults) are stating that there was undue influence/duress/coercion during the sexual acts and the defence use casting couch to counter the allegations.

      How can you/me say that in casting couch there is no coercion. The victim is saying there was coercion and the perpatuator’s defence is it is casting couch so ofcourse it was consensual. None of us were present when this happened. If we just let it go simply saying that it is just casting couch so consent must be present, we are repeating the words used by people who defend people like Weinstein. We don’t know what happened behind closed doors. I just feel that we should not normalize casting couch the way people like Weinsten and other predators are doing. Because these predators are using casting couch as a shield to protect themselves.

      In casting couch person in a position of power is basically taking advantage of someone’s ambition. In a way the victim’s objection will not get them the role is what is perpatuated. It may not be a crime per se, but it definitely is a moral and ethical wrong.

      Even hollywood is coming up with guidlines and stuff to limit situations where propositions for casting couch/ limit situations where there is imbalance of power. Bollywood should do the same I feel.

      Harvey apparently used to tell aspiring actresses that Gwenyth Paltrow slept with him to get the role in Shakespere in love. But apparently it is not true and it was just a rumour he spread to get the girls to sleep with him. How despicable one can be. This lead me to wonder how many rumours of casting couch in bollywood maybe started by pervs just to get aspiring actor’s in to bed.

      consensual flings/affairs where eventhough there is an imbalance of power if there is no exchange of sexual favours for movie roles (like in the case of casting couch) should not be confused with casting couch. There are many such consensual flings/ affairs in bollywood.

    • LondonThumakda says:

      @MonaLisa thanks for sharing the UN definition it will be interesting to see how the courts rule in Weinstein’s case. Even in Hollywood tho, to my knowledge, the women who have come forward have accused him of assault and rape. No one has admitted to the casting couch. It is too often referred to in terms of quid pro quo, like its a simple transaction amongst consenting adults. The imbalance of power and the opportunity cost is rarely brought up.

      Even in Hollywood the main accusers initially were B and C listers – rose mcgowan, ashley judd, asia argento women with not much to lose. It was only later the salma hayeks, lupitas, angelinas and gwyneths came forward. Will that happen in Bollywood?

      I dont see much chance because its a much smaller and incestous industry. the women have too much to lose and i dont blame them. they have a small window of opportunity to get plum roles and ensure financial security why risk everything? in Hollywood a 60-year old can still bag an Oscar winning role. Here a Madhuri is reduced to judging a dance competition.

      plus the big question mark is still what happens when a Btown biggie gets outed? someone really big who is pals with all the other biggies. i bet everyone gets diplomatic “we should investigate, not jump to conclusions”. then the thing will go to court and knowing the indian system stretch on for 20 years during which the victim will likely run out of money. that is IF the girl has any evidence or corroborating witnesses which is unlikely. not to mention if the guy is a superstar with a rabid fan following you will get crucified on social media, harrassed, stalked, threatened. the risk-reward is stacked against you all the way.

      part of the problem is that there are tons of talented people looking for work and i feel like its harder than ever for outsiders to break in. some are branching out like radhika apte’s multiple netflix deals. but most have to sit back and watch the handful of favourites get 3-4 projects at a time.

    • Monalisa says:

      @londonthumakdha I added the qoute from Weinstein’s lawyer in my first comment just to highlight how casting couch is used as a defence for sexual abuse/rape allegation. “If a woman decides that she needs to have sex with a Hollywood producer to advance her career and actually does it and finds the whole thing offensive, that’s not rape.” is his exact wording.

      Some media reports speculated casting couch is the defence Weinstein would most likely take up and that is the reason his lawyer gave the above quote just to remind the public these women induldged in casting couch and later cried rape. So, yes it is up to courts to make the decision. And it would be interesting and could set up new precedents even. If Weinstein does take up tje defence of casting couch as media speculated, it would be interesting how court’s interpret it.

      They have been using casting couch exuse as a shield for such allegations. I feel by normalizing casting couch we are kinda supporting these pervs to get away with sexual abuse/ rape. What is casting couch got to do with Crosby yet his lawyer brought up that Crosby did not invent casting couch in his closing arguements.

      A-list, C-list does not matter, if an actress come out with a sexual haressment allegations against a A-list actor or bollywood bigwig she would be crucified, shamed, and maligned by media, public, industry folks. Highly doubt any one would dare to make an allegation against an A-lister or bollywood bigwig. Such a shame really. Just now Tanushree lodged FIR against Nana, Ganesh, producer in director of Horn ok.

    • LondonThumakda says:

      @Monalisa thats why I have so much respect for these women Tanushree, Christine ford, the women who broke that first story about Weinstein in NYT. honestly the whole thing has been an educating experience for women too. when i first started reading the threads on social media it made me realise there were so many small incidents in my life i never realised were actually harassment because we are so used to normalising inappropriate behaviour, brush it off, move on, say to ourselves oh well it could have been worse.

      my biggest fear is the movement dilutes or a counter wave of male anger erupts claiming these public outings have ulterior motives like what happened at the senate hearing with brett kavanaugh. i can easily see that happening in india where there is so much misogyny on social media as it is.

    • Lucy says:

      Monalisa,I understand all you say.but offering sexual favours so that you can beat competitors and snatch work of someone who was better than you is also wrong.this is what Jennifer Lawrence did.she stole hunger games from Hailey who clearly is a better actress,got silver linings playbook which was written for an older actress by sleeping with Weinstein,the nude photo scandal was a cover up for the nudes that got leaked from Weinsteins phone.what I read was someone from Weinsteins company was trying to gather proof of his acts,and they chanced upon nudes that a lot of actresses had sent.jennifers was one of them.she allowed the director of joy who is a known creep to install cctv in her van so he could watch her at all times,because of which Amy Adams character was made a supporting role and she got more preference.her career is made from stealing work of better actresses who auditioned and got those roles without succumbing to casting couch.which is wrong.so when today she comes out in support of me too,it is blatant hypocrisy.

      The same situation is in Bollywood,the ones who offer sexual favours snatch a deserving persons work.they aren’t really victims.

  5. Monalisa says:

    YRF should just fire her. Hope the other perv Mukesh Chabra get exposes as well.

  6. Lucy says:

    Admin,do you really think this is a case of sexual harassment or consensual exchange of films for sexual favours…the way arjun and ranveer react around her it seems like they are very very close friends.usually victims try to maintain a distance when the deed is done,like many actress..won’t take names,favours exchanged,films completed,promotions completed then they only meet socially with their perpetrator..never hanging around all the time like buddies.

    But with ranveer it’s like shanoo is in love with him or something,like she literally stalks every Instagram post of his,and the captions she writes its like she wants the world to know he is her discovery.and her closest friend.putting up snapshots of video chats with him and all.i find her borderline stalker in case of ranveer

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    • deepcoursera says:

      It is not consent if you are using your powerful position in exchange of granting favours. In fact it is the textbook case of sexual harassment.

    • leaps says:

      @lucy sorry but what you call “consensual exchange” is actually ” sexual exploitation ” by people like shanno, shakti kapoor, yrf, subah ghani etc . Also why in world is sex and not acting audition a criteria used by these exploiters in Bollywood. Imran is ryte when he said it wont happen in bw because only the lower denominator is being outed and that is where it will end

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    • Monalisa says:

      @lucy There are a lot of people who believe Ranveer and Arjun were not subjected casting couch by her. Simply because when she discovered them she was not the big shot she is today. And in when both of debuted there were no rumours of them being subjected to casting couch by her or that back then Shaanoo indulged in casting couch.

      Arjun is the son of a famous bollywood producer and comes from a film family. When he was dating Arpita, Salman already agreed to launch him and he was going to the gym to lose weight. Salman kicked him out when his affair with Malaika came in to light. If you watched their KWK episode, you will know it was Arjun who contacted her through FB but they already in bw parties. Even when she told Adi about Arjun, Adi’s response was ‘Boney’s son is fat.’

      Regarding Ranveer and Shaanoo’s equation, they first met when he was 16 at a party. (I think in kwk and lot of other print interviews they talk about how they met). So they knew each other and are friends since a long time. At that time she was not a big shot casting director. When she sent Ranveer’s tape toYRF she was not YRF casting director. It was after her success with finding Ranveer that theu gave her a permanat job there. When he debuted in 2010 there were no rumours of him being subjected to casting couch. Back then the rumour was his father paid money to YRF. You can google and see that the only rumour about his debut is his father paying money not casting couch with Shaanoo. The blind about Ranveer and Shaanoo came out this year, when the rumours/blinds about Shaanoo exploiting men came in to the open last year. I feel that people just assumed if she is doing this to men now, she must have done it Ranveer and Arjun.

      I know Shaanoo is creepy af on insta but she put up video calls with not only Ranveer even with his mom and sister. Ranveer fcs have the screenshots of it so can post links here if you want. So she is close to his family as well . Same with Arjun.

      I feel the lady want to brag and show of how successful her find has become. And he is the only successful actor she discovered. Arjun, Vaani, Arman Ralhan, Aadar Jain are not successful like Ranveer right.

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    • Lucy says:

      Leaps,I think it’s because Bollywood is not recognised as an industry,so it’s an extremely disorganised business.there is no structured hierarchy,like other companies.there is no legally authorised entity to question as to why casting is not done by auditions,which is something equivalent to job interviews.why casting calls aren’t advertised and why isn’t there a fair and systematic process.i believe the entire industry is a cluster of small shops/production houses who have their own rules and hence all the shady dealings.

    • leaps says:

      @lucy i agree on the lack of structure in bw and how you describe it but there is lack of structure for people hired on daily wages in our region. sexual harassment also happens in organized organisations still this does n’t give any employer ryte to sexually exploit any one for a potential job. casting couch is still sexual exploitation

    • Ms says:

      Ranveer has in fact openly spoken about how he had to face a casting couch male who expected favors from Ranveer. He denied and left. I do not know who that man was but back then I am sure Shanoo did not do anything with Arjun or Ranveer.

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