"asking for sex in return for work is the lowest of low."
Shama Sikander spoke about her casting couch experience, revealing how producers would ask her for sex in exchange for work.
The actress stated that she is happy with the current state of the entertainment industry, saying that people are more professional than ever.
She then recalled her casting couch experience, revealing how producers wanted to be “friends” with her.
Shama explained: “The industry has changed so much, and for good.
“Today, young producers are far more professional and treat people respectfully.
“They do not have the notion of sex for work. In the past, I have had producers tell me that they wanted to be friends with me. I was like, how can we be friends if we do not work together.
“I feel the whole concept of asking for sex in return for work is the lowest of low. I mean, you have to be a terribly insecure human being to do that.
“Some of these producers and makers were well-established names in the industry.
“It shows that you do not have an iota of confidence that you can win over a woman’s heart in an organic manner.
“But casting couch is not limited to Bollywood alone. It happens everywhere.”
Despite her experiences, Shama said that she has met some friendly men in Bollywood who have made her feel safe.
Shama continued: “It is wrong to blame Bollywood for it.
“It gets spoken about more as this is a profession which is under the limelight.
“I feel that evil exists in every person, which is why some people think they can degrade others in this way.”
“One needs to address that devil that resides in your mind.”
Now, Shama Sikander is more committed to self-love and care.
She told BollywoodLife: “Healing is a non-stop process.
“It needs a certain amount of discipline to always prioritise yourself.
“It might come across as selfishness but you need to be in good shape to love and care for those around you.”
Shama Sikander previously said that when she was 14, a director tried to put his hand on her thigh.
She said: “I immediately said no and shook him off.”
The experience took an even darker turn when the unnamed director told her that she would be exploited by another person in the industry.
The director told Shama:
“You think, you are going to be a star, no one here will leave you alone.
“If not a director, an actor or producer might exploit you.
“You cannot grow without that.”