“A casting director said if I become his girlfriend, he will flood me with good roles”

TV actress Leena Acharya narrates her #MeToo ordeal

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | October 15, 2018 | Mumbai


#time up   #women safety   #Tanushree Dutta   #MJ Akbar   #molestation   #office harassment   #sexual harassment   #MeToo   #Leena Acharya  
Leena Acharya
Leena Acharya

I have been in the television industry for four years now. A director once said to me, “You have the looks but you have not done work that gives you recognition.” He said that if I join hands with him life will be easy and I will not have to go for audition anywhere. I told him to back off and never spoke to him again. 

Many young girls who come into the industry are not prepared for the struggle and want things easy. Once I was called for a movie audition at Costa Coffee. I felt weird about the location. The production girl there asked me if I liked my work and if was willing to ‘compromise’ with the coordinator, director and producer. I left the place. At another time a casting director suggested if I become his girlfriend, he will flood me with good roles and branded clothes.

 
 
 
 
Casting directors make tall promises to girls who often think they wield influence in casting for the lead roles. Girls entering the industry have an impression that close proximity with casting directors will get them roles. But their job is to only provide options for roles. It is the collective decision of the production house and channel heads to cast for important roles. Nowadays multiple casting directors are engaged to provide casting options for roles.
 
I am satisfied with work on hand. At present, I have a good role in the serial, ‘Perfect Pati’. Many of my friends are sitting without work despite their struggle for years. Others have struggled for a long time before they landed in good roles. It takes a few years in the industry to realise who or what holds water.
 
South Indian and Bhojpuri film industries are notorious for casting couch. Once I was called to audition a ‘hot’ scene for a mother’s role in a Bhojpuri film! At another time when my roommate was called to audition for a Bhojpuri film she was asked to compromise to get the role.
 
Comparatively, the television and fashion industries are safe for women and very unsafe for men and gays. They are badly harassed. My male friends often share their casting couch experiences. My friend Nikhil who had come here from Dubai to try his luck in acting was propositioned by a casting director with the promise that he will get only lead roles. But by the end of it he was so frustrated that he went back to Dubai.       
 
As told to Geetanjali Minhas

(The article appears in October 31, 2018 edition)

Comments

 

Other News

In Maharashtra, what’s allowed, what’s not

Essential services allowed: 1) Hospitals, diagnostic centres, clinics, vaccinations, medical insurance offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, other medical and health services including supporting manufacturing and distribution units. This would also include dealers, transpo

Maharashtra goes under ‘Janata curfew’, restrictions from tonight

Striving to control the deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections, the Maharashtra government has imposed prohibition on the gathering of more than four people as well as night curfew from Wednesday till May 1. Starting 8 pm Wednesday, Section 144 of CrPC (prohibition on the gathering of mor

Govt launches e-marketplace for aqua farmers

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated e-SANTA, an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers. It aims to enable the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute to use a drone for coalfield survey

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted a conditional exemption to Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) for surveying in coalfield areas of Coal India Ltd. The drones will be deployed for the acquisition of d

Govt rolls out SARTHAQ for NEP 2020 implementation

In pursuance of the goals and objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and to assist States and UTs in this task, the Department of School Education and Literacy has developed an indicative and suggestive implementation plan for School Education called ‘Stud

NITI Aayog launches the version 2.0 of India Energy Dashboard

Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Dr V K Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; and Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog in the presence of Secretaries from Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,

Visionary talk with Prithviraj Chavan, On the need for vaccination & Maha Political volcano



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter