Actor Swasika who was last seen in Sidharth Bharathan’s ‘Chathuram’ is of the opinion that the film industry is the safest place for girls. “In this industry, no one is forcing you to sleep with them. That’s how safe the industry is. If we say no, no one will force you to do anything against your will,”—says Swasika in a recent interview, which aired on a YouTube channel.
“If you ask me whether we need an organisation like WCC, my honest opinion would be that I don’t know how they function. I am someone who would immediately react and leave the film set, if I have to face an unpleasant incident,” says the actress.
According to her, that is the first thing women should teach themselves. “That’s also the courage we need to have. We should learn to say ‘No’ where it is required. People put up with the abuse in a set because the project features a big name and also because the remuneration is huge. It sounds illogical to come up with a Metoo allegation after four years. Just say no to the film with the confidence that you will get a bigger opportunity,” Swasika adds.
She says a woman should have the courage to react strongly against such exploitation and also quit from the place of abuse. “I don’t think we need an organization to do that. That courage should be there in all of us. Even if it is WCC or any other place and we approach them with a complaint there is no guarantee that we will get justice. It will take time. If you had a bad experience, why would you want to approach WCC? You can go to a police station or the Women’s commission.
You can talk about this to your parents, and you have every right to react, and you should. In this industry, no one is forcing you to sleep with them. That’s how safe this industry is. We can bring our parents, assistants or anyone we want to the sets. You are given that freedom. And some people are talking against such an industry that gives you so much safety. It happened to you because you didn’t react when it was needed.
If we have the courage to say no, no one is going to force us to do something against our will. A room you locked cannot be opened without you unlocking it. I only open the room I locked in the morning. If someone comes in the middle of the night and knocks on your door, why should you even open it? Why should we give them a space to drink and have a conversation?
Girls should have the courage to react against such forms of exploitation. This is what is happening during the casting couch. You can simply say no and leave instead of crying foul after you agreed to their demands. There will be at least 40 people on the sets. Would anyone even dare to do something to us in front of so many people? They would ask us openly and we should also be able to publicly humiliate them.
If you are unable to do it, you should approach a WCC. Such things shouldn’t be delayed. If something untold happens to you in the morning, you should register a complaint that evening itself. Not after finishing the film and pocketing your remuneration.
Even now a lot of girls and models are being exploited in the name of the casting couch. There is a casting couch in cinema. But no one will forcefully make us do anything against our will. As long as we protest nothing untold will happen to us,”—says the actor.