Recently, many women across the world have narrated their horrific stories of sexual harassment on social media through a global campaign #MeToo which started trending in the wake of multiple allegations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
The number of sexual encounters that women have faced has been astonishing, however, it is not confined just to just female gender. A recent revelation by a famous Bollywood actor sheds light that men get harassed, too.
Irrfan Khan, who has spent more than two decades in the glitzy world of Bollywood, has come out in the open to shed some light on the casting couch issues that have been plaguing the industry for many years now.
Irrfan Khan, who was addressing the media during the song launch of his upcoming film Qarib Qarib Singlle, said he was asked to compromise during his salad days in Bollywood.
Without taking names, Irrfan said, "It has happened with me a lot of times. It won't be good to take names but a lot of times it has been hinted to me and sometimes I have been told clearly that if I compromise I'll get the job. But now it doesn't happen."
Irrfan said such things are tricky, especially when they come from the people one knows.
"It (invitation) has come from both, males and females. It becomes slightly weird because when people you know and respect a lot, give you such offers, you feel that the dynamics of the relationship will change. That's the sad part. But I have the power to accept or refuse them."
A few days ago, New York Times did an exposé on Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct. And more than 50 women have come forward after the October 5 report.
Irrfan, who has worked in major Hollywood projects such as "Jurassic World" and "Life of Pi", said anything that happens without mutual consent should be condemned.
"You do experience these things. A person might propose 'If you sleep with me I'll give you work', but you have the power to say no. Such indications are given to both men and women, but women face it more. Yes, if it is happening without consent or forcefully, then it's extremely saddening," he said.
"If there is a person who is repeatedly doing these things, he must be exposed. It's necessary to talk about him."
The actor said the way a person behaves is also a reflection of the society.
"To sexually exploit someone is a disease in itself. It reflects the dynamics of our society - that it's sexually suppressed. As far as sexual exploitations go, the one who has more power will exploit the other gender.
"... Exploitation is not the key factor, it's the suppression. People should be allowed to mingle. The government or any other body is no one to pass judgements," he added.
Earlier, Priyanka Chopra and former CBFC chief and filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani also hinted that there are many Harvey Weinsteins in Bollywood too and this is time to come together to expose them.
(With PTI inputs)