The Silent Ones

Women who are silent about sexual harassment in the film industry globally, are silent for personal reasons.  Maybe they believe it is all water under the bridge, despite mental wounds.  Maybe there are parents, kids and in-laws to consider as it might bring shame to the family.  Shame because it is common for victims to be ashamed for something that is not their doing.

They were silent back then because they wanted to be in the business.  They wanted the work.  They were told it’s the only way in Bollywood, Hollywood, Nollywood or any other wooded village.  The ‘casting couch’ was the reality then, not a Miss World or Miss Universe title.
They heard stories of what happened to women who refused to give in.  They made one small film and that was the end because lead actors, producers and directors were as tight as Boodles, the Gentleman’s Club in London that does not allow women. 

Rajkumar Santoshi, directed Halla Bol, a film that demonstrated Bollywood brotherhood.  However, the untold story is that of women who finally consented but never saw a script again.  Another untold story is male directors and producers who nurtured female talent without asking for their bodies.  Some big stars acknowledge the positive role such men played in their careers.
Family.  Women are silent because there are kids now.  How do they explain that they had no choice because their dad was the only gateway to a film career?  What started as sexual harassment ended up being an affair or marriage after the producer divorced his wife.  Certain cultures permit polygamy.

The silent ones.  They have reasons and a right to be silent.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.


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