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#MeToo: Don’t delay in reporting incidents, urge TV actors

The #MeToo movement is again gaining momentum, in India this time. While women are being courageous enough to talk about someone who sexually harassed them in the past, reporting an incident so late often becomes a case of he says, she says and assumptions are made at the end of the day. Here is what TV actors have to say about this

Ssharad Malhotra: If anyone is sexually harassed, one should immediately take action against the individual, company or organisation and not wait for years and months to pass. Please raise your voice and seek justice then and there and do not prolong the matter because everything and everyone has a shelf life. Time is the most crucial factor out here.

Pooja Banerjee: I feel this movement is actually a good thing. Since it’s a fact that women didn’t have much say and especially in a field like entertainment where one has the capacity to ruin someone’s image and career. But of course, every change and a good movement comes with its pros and cons, so each case may not be true. But I have a strong feeling that with this movement the cases of #MeToo will reduce.

Rohitash Gour: Well, no one forgets the past. We always mention our past memories or remember good or bad things. I don’t feel that we can call it wrong if someone wants to discuss or mention their past experience (good or bad) to society. We cannot assume it as right or wrong as we were never part of that situation when the incident mentioned took place. We have full freedom to express ourselves and our support to anyone. Also, we have no right to be judgemental. There is a process for justice for all. The only care we should take is that no one should be cheated on when it comes to justice. I would say #MeToo movement will be successful only when these incidents get reported immediately.

Aanand Goradia: It is always good to talk your heart and mind out, I feel that whatever emotions good or bad you keep within yourself is not good for your health. It is poisonous for your brain and your heart, especially bad emotions and experience. But yes, there are bad emotions and experiences about which you are not able to speak out. But now, even after years of the incident, people are speaking about it. I also spoke about my experience when I was approached for casting couch. I spoke about it after 15 years obviously because I was vulnerable. I did not know whom to speak to. I was gullible and I was raw. I had no stand in the industry, today I have spoken about it. I don’t want to blame anyone but these things are common in the industry.

Munisha Khatwani: I just wanted to say that I think it takes a lot of courage even to come out and speak about whatever has happened no matter when it happened. I think they just needed the support as people have fear and phobia to come out it the open and express what happened with them. Talking about it later on doesn’t make any difference because the experience has happened. I think they are looking for justice somewhere. I know that suddenly people are coming out and speaking and I think they just needed one person to trigger it. I think if one person speaks, others get encouraged.

Ayush Anand Even before I came to Mumbai, I had heard about the casting couch. After I relocated from Delhi to Mumbai, I enthusiastically went for an audition that a casting director had called me for. While Ithought it would be a proper office, when I reached the destination, it was nothing like that. It was a small, two-room place in a secluded neighbourhood room was very small and dark. He started asking me about my work and if I would be willing to have a relationship with the casting director, irrespective of whether the person is a man or woman. I flatly refused, and said that I was there just for work. I sensed that something was wrong, but since he had not made any advances, I gave him the benefit of doubt. Later, he asked me for a sexual favour and that’s when I walked out. As soon as I started on my way out, he said, ‘If you don’t give in now, you will roam around in Mumbai like other strugglers for years, and never get work’. He insinuated that my career will be finished if I don’t give into sexual favours. I surely support “Me Too Movement”. It has become a rage.

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