#MeToo has become a huge rage, with several top B-town biggies being named and shamed. Some of them have had to face the music as well.
One thing that we have noticed is that this movement has split people vertically, with most taking extreme positions on either side of the divide. Some say that all men are rapists while others believe that most women are making up stories for their fifteen seconds of fame, or settling old scores.
What was missing was the practical middle ground that takes a considered, 360-degree holistic view.
Here, Shubhangi Atre, who plays the dim-witted Angoori Bhabhi in &TV show, Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai, does just that.
We have been talking to Shubhangiji for a while, and she always takes tempered views and never loses her cool. Here, in an exclusive chat with IWM, she says, “Although I am quite busy with my shoot, I do follow the latest #MeToo news too, for it gives our entire industry a bad name.”
“The sad truth is that, like in all sectors, there are a few bad apples here as well, who might be making totally off the chart suggestions or moves. This is highly condemnable, for women must not be subject to any sexual abuse at the work place or anywhere else.”
“While supporting those brave-hearts who have finally gathered enough courage to speak out, which is not easy, I would just suggest for the future that if any woman is made an indecent proposal, she should there and then make a loud noise about it and ensure that the matter is dealt with utmost seriousness. There should be no more sitting quietly for fear of losing work, for in the ultimate analysis, only talent survives. Self-respect comes above everything else; and today women are very strong and will not take any shit lying down.”
“I personally feel that crying foul 20 years later is a bit odd, for by then, the situation may have changed, with the alleged perpetrators getting married and having kids. Agreed, he needs to suffer for his misdeeds, but his family will also be dragged into the muck for no fault of theirs.”
“Calling out abuse immediately will not only save you, but even other girls who might fall prey next. And this abuse is not just restricted to one gender; guys too face the same horror.”
“This malaise is as old as the hills and will not go ever, for there are some women who want to take the shortcut. But yes, we can cleanse the system as far as possible by putting the fear of God in those who dare force themselves on anyone.”
“I too had heard of horror stories when I first came down to Mumbai, but I am glad that no one has spoken wrongly to me so far.” Shubhangi had first tasted success with Kasturi, Do Hanso Ka Joda, etc.
In closing, she wishes that all industry stakeholders get together to form an empowered committee that can be approached by anyone who’s violated. “Quick action, after taking into account all the sides of the story, is the need of the hour.”