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Saroj Khan’s casting couch comments offend Sri Reddy, says ‘lost respect for you’

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 25-04-2018

a person holding a sign © Provided by Hindustan Times Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan’s justification for casting couch at a press conference in Mumbai has come in for criticism from the film industry. Khan was reacting to protest of Telugu actor Sri Reddy against the practice in regional cinema. Reddy has now denounced Khan’s statement and said it gives a “wrong indication” that one has to be slave to producers in the film industry.

“I lost respect for you Saroj ma’am. Being an elder you should give a good path to young actresses. It is giving a wrong indication that you have to be a slave to producers,” Sri Reddy told ANI. Not just Reddy, other celebs also called Khan’s statements wrong and justifying exploitation.

Asked to give her opinion on Reddy’s protest at a press event, Saroj said, “Ek baat batau ye to chala aa raha hai baba adam ke zamane se. Har ladki ke upar koi na koi haath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai.Government karti hai (This is not a new thing, this has existed for a long time. Everyone wants to take advantage of girls, even the government).”

She also said, “Government ke log karte hain to tum film industry ke peeche kyun pade ho? Wo to roti to bhi deti hai, rape karke chorr to nahi deti. (Even people in the government abuse girls and women, why are you after the film industry? The industry also provides livelihood, it does not discard the woman after that).”

British actor-model Sophie Choudry tweeted, “WTH?!!!! So much respect for Saroj-ji as a choreographer but this is how she uses her position to protect girls?!!! If I didn’t come from a financially sound background I would have returned to London within a month of being in mumbai cos of “industry folk” who think like that!! Can’t begin to think what thousands of girls go through in the hope that their “dreams” will come true! Nobody wants to sleep with someone for work. But they are made to feel it’s the only way & “acceptable”. And for those who don’t, it’s a tough road! This has to stop! #TimesUp.”

TV host Mini Mathur was also infuriated at Saroj’s remarks. “WTH!!!?? I see the distinction she is trying to make here but that doesn’t justify any kind of exploitation M’am.. this is hugely irresponsible,” she tweeted.

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