New Delhi: After #Metoo movement created a storm in the West, guess it`s time now for Bollywood to wake up to the horror of sexual harassment being rampant in the Hindi film industry.
After Tanushree Dutta`s explosive interview alleging harassment by senior actor Nana Patekar on film sets back in 2008, several women have come forward and narrated their instances.
After big names like Alok Nath, Kailash Kher, Vikas Bahl etc to name a few, `Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety` director Luv Ranjan too has been accused of sexual harassment by a female actor.
The actress in question told Mid-Day.com how once when she went to audition for a movie in 2010, Luv Ranjan asked her to strip to her panties.
She narrated her horrific ordeal and told the daily, “It was 2010.
I was 24, and had done two small roles in big movies opposite well-known actors, and was in the auditioning phase.
I was called by Vicky Sidana, a casting director, who said that the auditions for Pyaar Ka Punchnama were on, and a very short list of girls had been called for them.
I trusted him and hence, went for it.
The dress code was a short skirt and a tight top, which was fairly common, and wasn`t a problem with me.
There were seven to eight girls there, and the strange part was that they didn`t give us dialogues as they would usually ask you to enact the scene.
This was supposedly only a look test.” She further added about the `bikini test`.
The actress said, “I was at Kumar Mangat`s office and Abhishek Pathak, his son, was the producer.
I`m not sure whether or not he was present that day because I didn`t see him or interact with him.
The director, Luv Ranjan, and the cinematographer were sitting in a room and calling the girls in one by one.
The girl who went in before me came out with an ashen look and seemed uncomfortable.
She hurriedly left.
Then I went in.
The room was properly lit for an audition and there was a proper camera set up, etc.
They asked me to give an introduction, which was totally normal, totally legitimate.
Then, Luv Ranjan said there was a kissing scene and bikini scene in the movie and asked if I was fine with that, to which I said yes.
He said he wanted to see what I`d look like in a bikini.
Later in life, when I gave another audition for a movie, there was a female stylist who gave me a bikini to do a look test in the presence of lots of people.
Luv asked me to strip down to my bra and panties.
He said he wanted to see my body so he could check if I needed to lose weight.
He said they were not recording anything and the cinematographer would also leave the room, so I needn`t worry.
After that, it all gets blurry.
My heart was pounding and I rushed out saying I had to leave, and wasn`t comfortable with it.
I went home and tried to forget about it.
She said that she didn`t feel comfortable about it and tried to forget it.
It doesn`t stop there, the director then went on to ask her if she had a boyfriend, to which she said yes.
The actress said that then he asked, \Are you a virgin?\ I was shocked.
He said, \Arrey, we can talk like this, we`re adults.\ Then asked me if I used condoms.
The last straw was him asking me if I masturbate.
By then, I was scared and asked if I could leave.
He said I shouldn`t misunderstand him, and called the three guys into the room and asked them, \Do you trust me enough as a director, that if I were to ask you to drop your pants, you would?\ Lastly, she added, \The casting couch is a reality in the industry.
You just have to learn to live with it and toughen up.
He didn`t rape you, na, you got away, na.\ They question your story, and that`s why it takes so long to talk about it.
I hope people come out with their own stories about this man.
Meanwhile, Mid-Day.com asked the filmmaker to comment on the same and he denied it.
It`s so absurd that I don`t know what to say except that I deny it.
I don`t know how to react to an anonymous allegation beyond this and am willing to face any legitimate enquiry\,