After The New York Times’ sensationalexpose on top producer Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood has been caught in the middle of a scandal, where a bevy of brave women (and a few men) are coming forward to call out male sexual predators. However, things are looking fairly different in Bollywood.
An industry largely controlled by private wealth and a few strong men who run the top studios, the situation, even from an economic point of view, is starkly different, as compared to Hollywood. No actor has yet come out and named names of predators lurking in the powerful corridors of Bollywood.
To make matters worse, Mukesh Bhatt, a veteran producer who runs Vishesh Films, has given an interview to Reuters, saying ‘women are exploitative.’
In a classic case of shifting the blame from the aggressor to the victim, Bhatt told Reuters, “We cannot do any moral policing. We cannot keep moral cops outside every film office to see that no girl is being exploited.”
Take a minute to process that.
Bhatt is effectively suggesting that no institutional measures can be taken to prevent women being exploited.
He also calls the issue a moral one instead of what it is — a serious legal transgression.
Bhatt went on to say that women today aren’t as ‘simple as they pretend to be.’
“I am not saying men have not been exploitative. They have been for centuries. But today’s woman is also not as simple as she pretends to be. Just as there are good men and bad men, so also there are women who are exploitative and very cunning. Also blatantly shameless to offer themselves,” the producer was quoted as saying.
Interestingly, this victim-shaming attitude is literally one of the biggest reasons why women are afraid to come forward and share traumatic stories of abuse.
The interview noted that he didn’t have any examples to substantiate his claims of ‘exploitative women.’
From Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to Louise CK to Ed Westwick, the list of sexual predators in Hollywood is increasing by the day as several women have come forward and shared stories of abuse in the hands of powerful men.
In the wake of the revelations, Netflix cancelled one of its best-performing shows, House of Cards, which featured Spacey, while Ridley Scott replaced him in the cast of the soon-to-be-released All The Money In The World, with Christopher Plummer.
Weinstein has been chucked out of his own company while also being expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producer’s Guild as well as the Television Academy.
As for CK, Netflix has cut all ties with the disgraced comedian.
But in Bollywood, it’s business as usual.
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