The prevalence of the casting couch in Bollywood has come under the light several times in the past few decades. But victims never dare to come forward and speak about their unfortunate experiences out of fear of ruining their careers in the long run. Only a few actors like Radhika Apte and others have shared their sexual harassment encounters but they have never exposed the names of their offenders.
During the India Today Mind Rocks 2018 that took place in Delhi on September 15, Radhika narrated an incident where her co-star offered to give her a back massage in the middle of the night.
"I can share one incident that happened recently, I had actually hurt my back and it was badly sore. We did the shoot and I was heading back to my room with another guy who was in the same lift. He was part of the film but we had not spoken much. He said that, "Let me know if you need me in the middle of the night for help, I can come and give your back a rub," Radhika said.
"But the good part was that the atmosphere on the sets was so easy and comfortable, I told the filmmakers and they had a meeting with him in person. Then I came to know that the culture that he comes from is such that he didn't realise that he made me uncomfortable with that statement. However, later he never made me feel uncomfortable and apologised," she added.
While many Hollywood actors have come forward and named their offenders like Harvey Weinstein publicly, Radhika shared her opinion on why #MeToo movement has not reached Bollywood yet.
"That is a big question. I don't think I can answer it with a small answer. The main cause is the power game. Be it religious, sexual or economical- it happens everywhere. Nobody wants to lose their power. This is a grey area. We need to have a good support system and come out of our fears. Well, not just women but men too are harassed in our industry," she concluded.
Earlier too, Radhika had spoken about her casting couch moment when she was asked to sleep with the person if she wants to work in the film.
"Once I got a call and they said they're doing this film in Bollywood and 'I want you to have a meeting with them. But would you be okay sleeping with that person?' And I laughed. I said you're so funny, you're very funny and I said no I'm not. Ask him to go to hell," she had said.
Radhika had revealed another incident where a South actor tickled her feet without her consent on the first day on the sets of a film.