Huma Qureshi said that she “hopes” that the #MeToo movement gains momentum in Bollywood
Actress Huma Qureshi says that Hollywood’s #MeToo campaign, which gained momentum after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, was successful because several “senior and respected” actresses came forward with their stories of sexual harassment, something which Bollywood actresses may not do, reports news agency PTI. “It’s not going to happen (in Bollywood) and the reason it worked in Hollywood because a lot of senior and respected actresses spoke about it. That’s what really gives the #MeToo movement a lot of momentum. I really hope and pray it happens in India. But I feel we should not wait for this campaign to happen just in the film industry, it should happen in all walks of life,” she said. More than 70 women, including top actress such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie accused Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of the Miramax film studio, of sexual misconduct, including rape. Harvey Weinstein has denied the allegations.
In Bollywood, actresses such as Priyanka Chopra, Richa Chadha, Swara Bhasker, Radhika Apte, Tisca Chopra and Aditi Rao Hydari among others have spoken about the ‘Weinsteins of Bollywood’ but without taking names. Last year, Richa Chadha explained that the artistes won’t name the wrongdoers out of fear for their safety and losing work. “If you give me pension for life, take care of my safety, my family, ensure I’ll continue to get work in films and TV or whatever I want to do, my career will grow unabated as it is right now after I name and shame somebody, sure I will. Not just me, million others will do that. But who will do it?” PTI quoted her as saying.
Speaking to PTI, Huma Qureshi also said that several steps have to be taken to create a safe work environment for women. “It’s a two-way thing. First, we should look at the representation of women in films. How we are looking at them. Then, of course, better role models for young girls who would empower them rather than degrade. There’s a 360 degree effort. It starts at home. The girls have to be equal to boys. If a woman comes out saying she has been abused or assaulted, we should not start finding flaws in her character, or try to dig up her past for murky details. Those are the things we should keep mind.”