Casting couch is a phenomenon which is pretty much widespread in the media and entertainment industry. However, with awareness and the onset of the #MeToo movement, people are speaking up against it and are calling out those who demand sexual favours in return for work.
In a recent instance, an aspiring actress Nida Malik accused a PTV PR official of demanding sexual favours from her in return for a role in an upcoming drama. She also shared screenshots of the Whatsapp conversation she had with the official.
Taking to Facebook, Malik wrote, “So, as I found out that I have it in me to become an actress, I started to go out and find work in the field of showbiz. I recently went to an audition for a PTV drama and delivered the dialogues so well that both the directors were greatly impressed and asked me to perform again so rest of the candidates could get an idea.”
She continued, “I was sure I was going to get a part and I did; I received a message from the PR on the same night, congratulating me on getting the role. The message said that I will soon be informed about the shoot dates. I was super excited as I got the part based on my performance.”
Malik further continued that the PR person texted her again and told her that even though she has been selected for the part, it will definitely be her’s if she “compromised” with him. However, if she doesn’t, she won’t get the part.
The official blatantly asked her to spend time with him and when Malik threw questions his way, he responded saying that the entire matter will be confidential and she can only spend an hour with him.
When Malik refused the official’s “offer,” he first told her to take some time to think about it. However, after Nida bashed him, he sent a simple “Bye.”
Malik, in her Facebook post, expressed her concerns over why such people continue to exist in the industry.
“Yes, we all have known all along that this field is not safe and is not for respectable people. But lately, there is a huge number of highly educated people been added to this industry which, I believed, should have eradicated the concept of “give and take” and eliminated the people with such sick mindset,” she wrote.
“I mean here you are all groomed up, having a good personality and you act like you belong to a very high profile, pictures posted with celebrities, have a good name in the industry, but deep down inside of you, you are just another sick and pathetic person which still has not gotten over your lust and basic needs,” Malik continued, adding, “And instead of encouraging new talent you are undermining them by making the worst deals in the history of mankind, asking them to spend an hour with you to please you.”
She signed off with the hashtag #MeToo saying that such people are a disgrace to the industry [media].