Recently, Telugu film industry was in the limelight all thanks to Sri Reddy who got stripped to stage a protest and expose the casting couch culture in Tollywood.
In an ongoing debate on casting couch on Times Now, Saroj Khan who was one of the panelists said, “Can I tell you one thing? This has been going on since long. It wasn’t started now. Someone or the other tries to take advantage of every other girl. The people in the government do it too. Then why are you only after the film industry? It provides livelihood at least. Does not rape and leave you. It depends upon the girl, what she wants. If you don’t want to fall into wrong hands, you won’t. If you have the art, then why would you sell yourself? Don’t blame the film industry, it is everything for us.”
Later, people disappointed by the way Saroj held victims responsible for being forced for sexual favours by directors, producers expressed their anger.
Sophie Choudhary even hit back at the choreographer by tweeting, “WTH?!!!! So much respect for Saroj-ji as a choreographer but this is how she uses her position to protect girls?!!! If I didn’t come from a financially sound background I would have returned to London within a month of being in Mumbai cos of “industry folk” who think like that!!”
Veteran Choreographer Saroj Khan gave a bizarre justification of prevailing casting couch situation in the film industry, claiming that 'casting couch at least provides livelihood' pic.twitter.com/Gh0FguJJ0s— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) April 24, 2018
Many Bollywood actors like Ranveer Singh to Ayushmann Khurrana to Radhika Apte talked about the casting couch experiences they had to face in the past. However, this was the first time a member of Bollywood casually defended casting couch as if it’s an accepted usual way for actors to extend sexual favours in exchange for a role or a break in the film industry.
In an interaction with CNN News 18, Khan has finally issued an apology by saying, “I apologise for my statement.” Yes, that’s all she has said in response to the backlash she has been receiving for her casting couch remark.