Saroj Khan defends casting couch, says ‘provides livelihood’; later apologises
Veteran Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan made a shocking statement on the debate around the casting couch in Bollywood.
While numerous debates and initiative are taking place worldwide ensuring the safety of women and their empowerment, Khan’s statement comes as a huge blow, most importantly because she herself is a woman.
Speaking to media, Khan said, “Can I tell you one thing? This has been going on since the beginning of time. It hasn’t started now. Someone or the other tries to take advantage of every other girl. Even the government (sic) does it. Then why are you after the film industry? It provides livelihood at least. Noone rapes and leaves you. It depends on the girl, what she wants to do. If you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands, you won’t. If you have art, why will you sell yourself? Don’t take the film industry’s name, it is everything for us.”
Soon the word spread and she received a lot of flak for her statement. However, soon after, the veteran choreographer issued an apology:
Khan is one of the most well-renowned choreographers in India, having set the dance steps of some of Bollywood’s iconic songs featuring some of the biggest actresses of all time including Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor to name a few. She has also won the National Award three times — 2002 (Devdas), 2005 (Sringaram) and 2007 (Jab We Met)