Ground Report | New Delhi: Casting couch in Bollywood; In Bollywood, casting couch is such a common term, isn’t it? One might think that it is for auditions, or for casting new aspiring aspiring actors. Then we’d like to inform you that you’re almost on the right track, but that track goes a little deeper than you imagined.
Casting couch, when a person of high authority and power, such as a producer, director or casting director, seeks sexual favors in exchange for aspiring, struggling and desperate actors and actresses to succeed in films.
While many have claimed to be aware of horrific casting couch tales, there are some who have admitted to having faced it themselves. India’s cultural setting makes it difficult for women to be vocal on such issues. The victim-blaming attitude of society often discourages women from taking a stand against such crimes.
Casting couch in Bollywood
Actress Surveen Chawla also revealed that she faced ‘a lot’ of casting couch from the South Indian film industry. Surveen Chawla made her television debut with Kahin Toh Hoga (2003) and later starred in Kasautii Zindagii Kay (2004) and Kajal (2006). She appeared in the reality dance show Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena (2008), hosted by Comedy Circus Ke Superstar. Surveen has also worked in many films.
In an interview with RJ Siddharth Kannan, she was asked if she had to face a comment where she was body-shamed about her weight and told that would not get roles. Surveen replied, “Ya this was actually my first film meeting in Bombay that I went for. So I was doing television and then I went for this first meeting. You know it’s their job to kind of get you in the space where you question yourself. And this happens to most women also where their appearance is questioned, their weight is questioned, what is your waist size is questioned, what is your chest size is questioned.”
Surveen further added that “it’s just crazy,” adding that she questions the parameters of being there.
Surveen further added, “It was a period when it was all the casting couch as well and then a lot from the South (film industry) and it was actually quite a tough period… it was there but I was not there. Don’t think they aren’t the right parameters that define you or make you believe or distrust where you want to be or where you are.”
Surveen will next be seen in the series Decauld alongside actor R Madhavan. The series is scheduled to release on Netflix on December 17.