New Delhi: TV and film producer Ekta Kapoor is considered to be among the most powerful women in Indian business, but she too has not been able to escape unwanted sexual advances.
After scores of women, in India and across the world, used the two words – ‘Me Too’ - to recount their tales of sexual harassment and assault, Kapoor too used them on Tuesday to tell that it happened to her as well.
“Yes, it did happen and it was very shocking. People have crossed the line with me,” she told News18, but did not elaborate.
The TV tsarina said the movement is very necessary in our country, and particularly the entertainment industry, as sexual abuse is very prevalent here.
While several Indian film actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Kalki Koechlin, Kangana Ranaut and Konkana Sen, among others, have come out in support of the movement, they have stopped short of unmasking the abusers, unlike Hollywood, where mass allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein made many actresses, singers and others talk about their experiences openly.
Since October last year, thousands of women around the world have been taking social media by storm with the hashtag #MeToo. Indian women too joined the rallying cry to reveal perhaps the worst kept secret – the harassment epidemic prevalent in our society.
Although the movement has found resonance, it has remained in the shadows in the film industry and is talked about in hushed tones.
Kapoor said that here, women feel a lot of shame to talk about ‘Me too’. “I feel being a producer and so powerful, if it can happen to me, then it is not possible that it did not happen with other women,” she said.
She said it would take time for all the women to come out and speak when asked if she as a producer could do more to encourage women in the industry to name and shame to address the issues of casting couch and sexual exploitation. “We are there for support,” she said.
Kapoor also addressed the issue of wage gap between male and female actors. According to a study last year, a top actor earns roughly five times more than an actress. But Kapoor feels the day is not far when an actress is paid more than her male co-star.
“Equal pay for equal work will only happen when there is equal responsibility. Pay will be according to the results you get. I think Deepika Padukone will be paid far more than many Bollywood actors,” she said.