The #MeToo movement was arguably one of the biggest social movements this generation can boast of. It brought so much to the forefront, so much grief experienced by so many. However, little changed beyond the movement bringing a sketchy reputation to the film, media, and politics in India specifically.
What is disappointing is that actresses still experience sexual harassment, and undergo a lot of shame and humiliation despite the movement. Maanvi Gagroo pointed out how little changed when she recounted her casting couch experience and how she tackled the situation, and this was after the #MeToo movement had really gained traction.
Maanvi Gagroo's casting couch experience
The casting couch is a known aspect of the film industry that is frowned upon. But, it is a known and existent stage in the casting process that most actresses and actors have faced in their careers. How they deal with it, is a whole different matter.
In 2018, the #MeToo movement which began in the West, hit India big time when actors, actresses, comedians, politicians and women of all ages around the world revealed their shocking and humiliating experiences in different industries and in their daily lives. A dam of carefully protected, hidden albeit ignored cases of sexual harassment, abuse and pain broke, and it left some people's lives changed indefinitely. Big names were suddenly brought under the scanner for crimes nobody had known of. But, the movement changed little except providing us an unsettling truth that these incidents exist.
Maanvi Gagroo revealed her own casting couch experience in the time of #MeToo which left her confused and shocked. This was when she received a call from an unknown number last year. They were discussing a web series with her, but said that their budget is lower than expected and would be tripled on a condition. Maanvi was not too optimistic about the budget and told them that she would decide based on the script. The producer immediately tripled the budget saying, "I can give you this much also, but aapko compro (compromise) karna padega," Maanvi told Koimoi.
The Four More Shots Please actress was extremely taken aback and lost her cool. She was disgusted by the fact despite all the conversation around #MeToo, incidents like these continued to take place, "Suddenly I don't know what triggered me, I started abusing him. Told him 'put down the phone', how dare you?! I will file a police complaint against you. I was really mad because in this pro imposed #MeToo era, I was baffled at how things like this still happen."
The actress gained popularity with her roles in successful web series like TVF's Tripling, Four More Shots Please! and Made In Heaven. The Bollywood actress was also seen in movies like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and Ujda Chaman.