Casting couch in the Bollywood industry is something which is always denied but is existing evidently. Behind the scenes there are a lot of stories which don’t make it to the big screen. Casting couch is something which happens with a lot of people but very few come out with it. The stories are hidden to stop humiliation from the society. Casting couch is something which exists in the industry but it depends on the person. The #MeToo brought out many faces hidden behind the scenes. Mostly directors but even some actors were involved in Casting Couch through the years.
- Dibakar Banerjee
The most talked about casting couch moment in the industry was when Payal Rohatgi came out in 2011. As claimed, it happened during shooting “Shanghai”. Film-maker Dibakar Banerjee, “Love, Sex aur Dhoka” fame tried to take advantage of Payel Rohatgi for a role in the upcoming movie as accused by her. It all started when she messaged the director to introduce her as an actor after which they became friends. They ended up sharing their personal problems and became close friends. The problem arose when Payel Rohatgi asked Dibakar Banerjee for a role in his upcoming movie “Shanghai”. She claims that the directed had asked her to lift her top, she denied that after which the role she auditioned for was given to someone else. Evidently, she believed that it might have been a reason for which the director passed the role to someone else. Thus, it turned out to be a case of casting couch.
- Aman Verma
Aman Verma was caught on a sting operation in 2005 being involved in casting couch. This became one of the most shocking revelation of casting couch in the industry. The actor was caught in a casting couch controversy captures in a sting operation by India TV. It had a video of Aman Verma talking to an unknown girl which was evidently showing that the actor was asking for favours from the unknown girl. In a reality show the actor had blamed the news channel to for showing an edited video showing specific portions which can go against him. But quite evidently as shown by India TV Aman Verma was proved to be guilty in the Casting Couch scandal.
- Sajid Khan
Another big name in Bollywood who tagged himself being a part of the casting couch scandal was Sajid Khan. He is accused by three women of sexual harassment, an actor, an assistant director and a journalist. During the #MeToo movement Sajid Khan was a name which made it to blacklist. The assistant Director who shared her story with the help of the #MeToo Movement against Sajid Khan was Saloni Chopra. She came out twitter saying that Sajid khan has spoken inappropriately with her about breast jobs and sexual favours. She claimed that Sajid Khan didn’t want her to be Assistant director but Director’s assistant resulting to a casting couch scandal. Saloni Chopra also said she might not be the only one victimized by Sajid Khan.
Actress Rachel White also spoke against for his improper behavior during the shoot of “Humshakals”. She broke the story of Sajid Khan wanting her to strip on the pretext of her role in the film which required her to wear a bikini. Rachel stated that she felt naked inspite of wearing cloths by the Director’s gaze and the way he insisted her to strip while they were in his home. This resulted to be a completely unprofessional behavior which made her very uncomfortable paving its way to the casting couch scandal.
Not only the Bollywood industry but also a journalist accused Sajid Khan for harassment. As enunciated by journalist Karishma Upadhyay the director inappropriately flashed his private parts to her during an interview along with an unpleasing conversation.
- Shakti Kapoor
It so happened in 2005 that India TV conducted a sting operation against Shakti Kapoor. A female journalist posed as an upcoming star in the industry for trapping Shakti Kapoor. The circumstances were such which the journalist was expecting. The veteran actor was captured asking for sexual favours from the journalist. In that sting operation Shakti Kapoor even claimed that everyone has to atleast once “sleep” with the big guys to get in the industry. Later the actor had even said that the sting operation might be tampered but he still is ready to apologies if by any chance someone was hurt. The sting operation perhaps became the biggest controversy Shakti Kapoor was stuck in.
- Madhur Bhandarkar.
Madhur Bhandarkar well known for his realistic films “Chandni Bar”, “Page 3” and “Fashion” was also a target of Casting couch. Actress Preeti Jain who was an aspiring actress at that time accused Madhur Bhandarkar of rape in 2004. She alleged the director having physical relationship with her from 1999 to 2004 as a pretext of launching her in one of his films. Director Madhur Bhandarkar had strongly denied her allegations. The case was dismissed in 2006 and again reopened in 2009 till it was declared the Supreme Court dismissed all the rape charges against the national award-winning director.
- Rajkumar Santoshi
The casting couch accusation which took everyone by surprise was against Director Rajkumar Santoshi. Actress Mamata Kulkarni who was the young sensation of the 90’s allegedly accused Rajkumar Santoshi for sexual harassment. She stated that the Director had asked for sexual favours from the actress during the shooting of China Gate in 1998. Though Santoshi had denied all the charges but the cut down role of the actress when the film was released left a lot of people in despair. This happens to be one of the biggest names in the industry to be involved in Casting Couch.