No one could deny the obsession of our society with Bollywood. With star power, glamor, immense money, the industry tends to enjoy the love and attention of many in our society.
Not just attention, many people tend to search for their role models in this industry. But, does our film industry – Bollywood – even capable to inspire our youngsters? While many come forward to share the bright side of the industry, there are very few who have gathered the courage to speak about unfair demands, injustice, unsettling acceptance of mediocrity.
Here’s some of those who gathered the courage and spoke about the dark reality of Bollywood:
#Mediocrity & Lack Of Respect For Talent In Bollywood
1. When Manoj Bajpayee spoke about lack of respect for talent in Bollywood:
While talking about the outrage that the Bollywood biggies received after Sushant Sign Rajput’s death, who was his co-actor in the film ‘Sonchiriya’, Manoj Bajpayee said that the industry needs to rectify itself or it will continue to receive flak from the audience.
“This industry has wasted talent; so much that in any other country those talents who have not been given their due here, would have been known as the best actors in the world. But we don’t care. Firstly, if you don’t have talent then you have to be extremely lucky to get by. This is the system I am talking about. This is the cold value of this industry. I am not blaming anyone. I am a part of this industry. This is why I said in my past interviews that we have to look inward and rectify that. Rectify, or you will keep getting flak for it, cursed for it and will keep on losing the respect of the common people.”
2. Even Ratna Pathak spoke about how most of the A-list actors are not good at their craft:
While talking about how most of the A-list actors are not good at their craft and should not be “allowed in front of the camera”, she said:
“Too many of our grossly overpaid stars should not even be allowed in front of a movie camera. There should be a law to prevent such people from acting!”
#Misogyny, #MeToo, Sexism In Bollywood
3. When Taapsee Panu spoke about prevalent misogyny in Bollywood:
“I faced some really weird things in the beginning like she isn’t pretty enough. I’ve been replaced because the hero’s wife didn’t want me to be part of the film. I was dubbing for one of my films and I was told that the hero didn’t like my dialogue so I should change it. When I refused to change it, they got a dubbing artiste to do it behind my back. There was a time when I was told the hero’s previous film didn’t work, so you slash your price because we need to control the budget. There was some hero who wanted my introduction scene changed because he felt it would overpower his introduction scene. These are the things that have happened in front of me, I don’t know what’s happened behind my back!”
4. When Shefali Shah spoke about how Bollywood has no idea what to do with women actors over 40:
“Men in this industry are afforded more choices, regardless of age. For most part, Bollywood doesn’t know what to do with a woman who has crossed 40. Only recently are parts being written for women like me”
5. Even veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah elaborated on how film and television shows in India propagate sexism, calling them “rubbishy”.
“Commercial films are glorifying a lot of orthodox concepts and that should change. Unfortunately, the television series have also done a lot of permanent damage by propagating completely outdated and misogynistic situations by showing the woman to always be at her husband’s beck and call – lying at his feet, or waiting around, like ‘Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki’. This kind of rubbishy and regressive family values have absolutely no place in today’s world.”
6. When Imran Khan shared how everyone knew about the abusive behavior of Vikas Bahl but chose to remain silent:
“Everyone is talking about Vikas Bahl. I have heard his stories from three other actresses. Ranging from inappropriate touching to straight-up saying that if you were cast in the film, what will I get in return. Again, I am telling you what I know directly through the actresses or from the industry. The story of this girl (in the case of Vikas Bahl) came somewhere a year ago if I am not wrong. Everyone in the film industry knew.
“I was at a social gathering 5-6 months ago, with a lot of people and the conversation came about #MeToo movement in Hollywood. At a point, I said what about Bollywood. The Vikas Bahl matter was brushed under the carpet, a few weeks after the news first appeared. I saw him smiling, posing for pictures with every celebrity in the industry. At that point, he started making a film with Hrithik (Roshan). I was like how is it in Hollywood a culprit is shunned but here he was making a proper film. Everyone was socializing with him. So, I brought it up at the party and realized only I was the only odd one there,”
7. When Abhay Deol opened up about how Bollywood movies have glorified sexual harassment and stalking
8. Surveen Chawla opened up about the initial struggles that she faced because someone else had better contacts than she did.
“I was not scared even though I had left TV at the peak of my career. But in the middle of this transition, when I was stepping up, I was thrown back down. For what reason? The question is not of my talent, but about somebody who had better contacts; that’s it. It took me sometime to come out of it, but then other things happened, and it instilled confidence back in me.”
9. Abhay Deol also took to Instagram to speak about the “lobbying” that exists in the Hindi film industry:
10. When Pooja Bhatt said that saying that Bollywood doesn’t like truth so much!
During the book launch of I’ve Never Been (Un) Happier, written by Shaheen Bhatt, Pooja Bhatt said:
“Too much truth doesn’t go down well in Bollywood. We’re living in a fake world full of appearances where people don’t want you to say ‘I’m not okay’.”
11. Further adding on how everything in the industry is only about the surface, Pooja Bhatt added:
“It’s all surface. They don’t give a damn if you’re a cocaine addict, whether you have an alcohol problem or you’re taking sleeping pills. As long as you look okay and show up and your waist size is a certain circumference, it’s good.”