Saroj Khan backs casting couch over rape

MUMBAI: Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan says the casting couch has been prevalent in all sectors, not just in the film industry where it “provides livelihood at least”. She later apologised for the comment.

At an event in Sangli, Khan said, “Can I tell you one thing? This has been happening since the beginning of time. It hasn’t started now. Someone or the other tries to take advantage of every other girl. The government’s people do it too. Then why are you after the film industry?”

“It provides livelihood at least. Does not rape and leave you. It depends on the girl, what she wants to do. If you don’t want to fall in the wrong hands, you won’t. If you have art, why would you sell yourself? Don’t take the film industry’s name,” she added.

A video of the comment was doing the rounds on social media on Tuesday.

Her comment left Twitterati in shock as many took it as a clear chit to the prevalence of casting couch in the Indian film industry, which has largely remained mum in naming and shaming offenders despite speaking up in favour of the global #MeToo movement.

Khan has, however, apologised for making the remark.

“Whatever the question, you don’t know… You just know my answer. So it is sounding wrong. But anyhow, I am sorry. I apologise,” Khan told IANS.

When probed as to what was the question, Khan disconnected the call.

The comment comes in the wake of a debate which got intensified after southern actress Sri Reddy caused a stir by sitting semi-naked on a road in Hyderabad to protest against the casting couch menace in the film world.

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