The recent allegations against some of the most prominent names in Bollywood have left all of us in shock.
But guess who wasn’t shocked : Bollywood. As the “MeToo” Movement is gaining momentum in Bollywood, more people are coming forward with their heartbreaking stories & speaking up for themselves in search for justice, the public populace outside is finally getting to see the real side of those accused.
What came as a shock to all of us, as the hitherto masked facet of the accused surfaced, was seemingly nothing but something all too familiar with the Bollywood community. And clearly, well accepted too, as no one ever spoke a syllable about the behaviour of those accused.
At least, that’s what the latest revelations made by Imran Khan in an interview prove, “Everyone in the industry knew about Vikas Behl.” Almost all the men named so far are well known in the industry for their behaviour & attitude towards women. In fact, even the people & colleagues of the accused reading about them are of the opinion, “Of course it’s true, we knew that.”
Here are the shocking revelations made by Imran Khan :
The following statements are about Vikas Bahl in specific :
“Everyone is talking about Vikas Bahl. I have heard his stories from three other actresses. Ranging from inappropriate touching to straight up saying that if you were cast in the film, what will I get in return. Again, I am telling you what I know directly through the actresses or from the industry. The story of this girl (in case of Vikas Bahl) came somewhere a year ago, if I am not wrong. Everyone in the film industry knew.”
“I was at a social gathering 5-6 months ago, with a lot of people and the conversation came about MeToo movement in Hollywood. At a point, I said what about Bollywood. The Vikas Bahl matter was brushed under the carpet, a few weeks after the news first appeared. I saw him smiling, posing for pictures with every celebrity in the industry. At that point, he started making a film with Hrithik (Roshan). I was like how is it in Hollywood a culprit is shunned but here he was making a proper film. Everyone was socialising with him. So, I brought it up at the party and realised only I was only odd one there.”
The following are about the MeToo Movement in Bollywood :
“I think it was long long long overdue. There have been times when I wanted to speak out. I was advised to stay quiet because they said people will assume I am trying to grab publicity. They (people) will say I am trying to become relevant and come in the news since my films have not worked well. Time and again, people around me will tell me to not speak up.”
“There are a lot of things that have happened in front of me and bothered me for years. Even after being aware of so many things, I could not say it out because I somewhere felt no one will support me on it.”
He recalls one incident in particular :
“I cannot name people I am talking about, but I will tell you stories as I know it.”
“Very early in my career, there was a director who was auditioning for the female lead in a film. He made girls do a photoshoot in bikinis, in sexy poses. These photographs went straight to the director’s personal laptops. These were not costume tests. These were not even used for marketing. So, what was he doing with these photographs? Later, he was showing these photos to the three shortlisted actresses and other women on the sets. I found it appalling. It is sexism and definitely an emotional and mental harassment. It was a wrong usage of power. There is a story later that happened with the actress. I hope she speaks of it through the story I am telling, it is her choice.”
If there’s something else being exposed here other than the accused, it’s the dark truth about how Bollywood turns blind to the blatant harassment taking place in its community.
Is it because they’re too afraid to support the survivors & expose the accused? Or is it because the accused are part of their own friends’ circle? Is it because they themselves are guilty of similar conduct?
Or perhaps, the Bollywood fraternity has grown so used to its sick habits that they’ve accepted the unacceptable as normalcy.
Either way, the fact that a lot of major stars are still silent on the issue is terrifying, even now when the pandora’s box has been opened, let alone not raising a voice all this while.