Tamil star Varalaxmi Sarathkumar has opened up about the issue of sexual harassment in the showbiz industry.
The recent sexual assault on a well-known south Indian actor has incensed members of the film industry and public across the country. In response, Sarathkumar opened up about the issue of sexual harassment, which is constantly faced by the women in showbiz. She also shared her own personal uncomfortable experience. She revealed that the programming head of a leading TV channel made unwanted overtures to her during an official meeting. When she got the glimpse of his intentions, she said she immediately asked him to get out, reports The Indian Express.
Sarathkumar said, “A common reaction from people, both in the industry and outside when they hear things like this is to say, ‘film industry is like this. You knew so when you joined. Why complain now or act supposed? My response is this; I didn’t come to the industry to be treated like a piece of meat or to follow the standards of exploitation of women already practised. I love acting. It’s my profession of choice. I work hard and I’m good at my work. I certainly do not want to choose either option of ‘put up with or quit.’”
She hails from a powerful family by being the daughter of actor-turned-politician Sarathkumar, and is friends with almost everyone in the south Indian film industry. By having her, with such a strong backing, still face such situations, the idea that there are struggling and aspiring female actors who must be exposed to exploitation in the film industry. “Those who believe this is a minor incident and also that nothing happened in the end so it’s unnecessary should understand that this is a tip of the iceberg,” she noted.” It may be a small incident that fortunately ended safely for me but it helps me to shed light on a very important topic,” she said.
She appealed to the all the girls to not remain quiet when they are being wronged, fearing unfavourable repercussions. “If we don’t act now ‘safety for women’ will be just a dream and we will never remove the word rape from our society. I will not stay silent. I urge all my sisters and friends to do the same. You are not alone,” she concluded.
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