Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan has guarded the casting couch culture, saying the Indian film industry “in any event” gave employments and did not abandon women after raping them.
In comments that come in the wake of the #MeToo campaign which gets out sexual offenders, Ms.Khan put the onus on the lady and said the casting couch was not another marvel with “anyone and everyone”, including people in the government, enjoying it.
The 69-year-old choreographer made the comments in light of a question from a reporter in Sangli on Telugu actress Sri Reddy stripping in protest against the casting couch culture in the Telugu film industry.
“I have already said I am sorry. But you don’t know the question that was asked… And now there’s so much ruckus,” Ms.Khan told PTI via telephone as a video of her connection with the media went viral on television networks and social media.
“This has been happening since time immemorial. Anyone and everyone tries to get cozy with every girl. Even people in the government do it. Why are you after the film industry? At least the industry provides employment. It is not as if you are raped and abandoned. (Yeh chala aa raha hai baba aadam ke zamaane se. Har ladki ke upar koi na koi haath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai. Government 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),” Ms.Khan is heard as saying in the video.
“It’s upon the girl – what does she want to do? If you don’t want to be caught, you won’t. When you are an artiste, why will you sell yourself? Don’t say anything about the film industry. It’s like our mother-father. (Yeh ladki ke upar hai ki tum kya karna chahti ho. Tum uske haath mein nahi aana chahti ho toh nahi aaogi. Tumhare paas art hai toh tum kyun bechoge apne aap ko? Film industry ko kuch mat kehna, woh humaara mai-baap hai),” she said.
A year ago, Hollywood revolted against sexual offense after divulgences about media head honcho Harvey Weinstein. The episode had a domino impact, with numerous inquiries being raised about lewd behavior and mishandle at the working environment, especially media outlets.