Allegations of sexual abuse of women by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein led to a huge clean-up operation in Hollywood. We saw big names like Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner crumbling in the face of #MeToo protests. Can something like this happen in Bollywood? Actress Richa Chadha feels it will take time for something like this to happen in Bollywood. And this is mainly because of the culture of victim-shaming in India.
The actress while speaking to Hindustan Times said, “I don’t see that happening immediately given the culture of naming and shaming in our country. But when it happens, as it is happening in Hollywood right now, the entire power structure will change. People, who you see making feminist films and claiming to be progressive etc, they will all come tumbling down."
Richa also feels the many heroes from the industry will lose a lot when Bollywood opens on sexual harassment. “We will lose a lot of heroes and several people will lose their lives’ work, their legacies. I think that’s what people will attack -- they can’t attack them monetarily so they will go after the legacies. And it will happen, I would think in the next four-five years.”
The Fukrey Returns actress goes on to explain why Bollywood has been quiet on the issue. “If someone suffers the loss of livelihood apart from emotional trauma, why will they come forward? In Hollywood, it is easier as actors get royalty.”
However, the actress mentions that Bollywood is not the only industry when it comes to sexual harassment. “It is very sexy to say, ‘Bollywood, ye gire hue log. They do this for work, they are just a cesspool for parties and all. We have a very fertile imagination when it comes to Bollywood. But we refuse to look at others. The press has a role in this - they should not be jumping on a hashtag. The press should be consistently creating a support system for the victim to come forward to say ‘this happened to me and he did that’. The judiciary has a role. I once met a rapist who said ‘mereko to bus saat saal ki sazaa hogi and then I am back to a normal life’, no remorse whatsoever,” added the actress.
Meanwhile, the actress is excited about the upcoming film, Fukrey Returns which will hit the screens on December 8. “The film is fun and the story has moved forward. We took time as we wanted to make a story as good as the first one and this one has turned out be a better. They took time to write it, perfect it, tie up loose ends,” said the actress.
When asked about the kind of roles the actress likes doing the most, Richa says its comedy. “My favourite genre is comedy because it doesn't take a toll on me. It is so fulfilling and light. I say no to a lot of dark stuff, like trafficking drugs in the body, because I feel those roles take a toll on the actor.”