Ekta Kapoor reveals the Truth behind Sexual Harassment in Bollywood

Indian producer, Ekta Kapoor agrees to the existence of the casting couch in Bollywood but insists there are two sides of a coin. Here’s her take on sexual harassment and the alleged ‘Harvey Weinstein’s’ of Bollywood.

Ekta Kapoor reveals the Truth behind Sexual Harassment in Bollywood

"there are people on the other side, like an actor or others who need the job, would also use their sexuality"

In a TV interview promoting the new season of her web series, Test Case, Ekta Kapoor has revealed some hard truths about sexual harassment in Bollywood.

The Indian film and television producer who heads Balaji Motion Pictures was asked about the #MeToo campaign and the status of sexual harassment in the Indian film industry.

After Hollywood went up in arms against producer Harvey Weinstein, numerous cases against other Hollywood actors have since come forth and the creative industry is currently in the midst of a sea of change.

Naturally, it has also opened comparisons across other industries. And in particular, whether it’s time to end casting couch in Bollywood, one of the industry’s open secrets.

Being one of the few top women producers in the country, the Balaji Motion Pictures honcho was quizzed about the existence of potential ‘Weinsteins’ in Bollywood.

Kapoor had a rather surprising take on the topic.

She said: “Well, I think there are Harvey Weinstein’s in Bollywood. But there is probably an equal number of Harvey Weinstein’s on the other side of the story. But people do not want to talk about that part.

“Yes, there are people in power like producers who use their power to take advantage of people, but at the same time there are people on the other side, like an actor or others who need the job, would also use their sexuality to get things done.”

Until now, most actors have acknowledged the presence of sexual predators in Bollywood but no name calling has taken place.

What came as a surprise though was the fact that Ekta opened up a whole new dialogue about actors propositioning producers.

She said: “Being a producer, on a personal level when I talk to my male counterparts, they said they were propositioned blatantly. Is that person not a predator?

“In our industry, if one actor meets a producer at 2 am and hooks up with him and after five days, if she wants a job based on that and the producer doesn’t give the job because he wants personal and professional things separate, then who is the victim here?”

“The interpretation is always that the powerful person took advantage of the poor little budding actor or something that is always not the truth.”

Following the candid interview, Ekta stood by her opinion, later tweeting: “Every coin has two sides and both need to be talked about equally.”

Interestingly, Ekta Kapoor’s father, Jeetendra a yesteryear actor from the industry, was recently charged with sexual harassment by his cousin.

The complainant suggested that the incident took place 47 years ago. Not long after the news about the complaint hit the headlines, the actor had released a statement calling the allegations baseless.

While Ekta has made no response on the case, what her comments during the TV interview indicate is that the issue of sexual harassment in Bollywood is indeed a complicated one. And it may be a little longer before the dark reality behind this booming industry is finally revealed.

Surabhi is a journalism graduate, currently pursuing an MA. She is passionate about films, poetry and music. She is fond of travelling places and meeting new people. Her motto is: "Love, laugh, live."

Image courtesy of Ekta Kapoor Official Twitter

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