"I was working with these people."
Dia Mirza has stated that there is “rampant sexism” within Bollywood.
She also revealed that her acting debut Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein had sexist elements throughout the film.
Dia opened up about living in a patriarchal society and the prevalence of “rampant sexism” in an industry that is “largely led by men”.
She explained: “People were writing, thinking and making sexist cinema and I was a part of these stories.
“Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein has sexism in it, I was acting with these people.
“I was working with these people. It’s crazy.
“I will give you small examples. A makeup artist could only be a man, could not be a woman. A hairdresser only had to be a woman.
“When I started working in films there were at best about four or five women on any given crew with a unit strength of over 120, sometimes 180 people.”
In the 2001 film, Dia plays Reena Malhotra, a woman who is set to be engaged to Rajeev (Saif Ali Khan), despite never meeting or seeing a picture of him.
Maddy (Madhavan) pretends to be Rajeev after he falls in love with Reena.
He lies about his identity and sets out on a mission to win her affection. However, when his lies are exposed, the film portrays Maddy as the victim.
In the end, Reena ends up with Maddy.
Dia Mirza explained that she has worked with people who were a part of sexist cinema.
“We live in a patriarchal society and it is an industry largely led by men. So there is a rampant sexism.”
“And I think for a large part it is not even conscious sexism because there are so many men who are writers, who are directors, who are actors, who are not even aware of their sexist thinking.”
Dia Mirza last featured in the 2021 Telugu film Wild Dog.
She surprised everyone in February 2021 when she got married to businessman Vaibhav Rekhi at her Mumbai home.
The pair had their honeymoon in the Maldives where Dia made another surprising announcement.
She took to Instagram to announce that she would be expecting her first child, sharing a picture of herself flaunting her baby bump.
Following her pregnancy announcement, a wave of Bollywood celebrities sent messages of congratulations to the actress.
This included the likes of Anushka Sharma and Priyanka Chopra.