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No environment for women to speak about sexual abuse: Kalki

Kalki Koechlin says there are women who face sexual abuse in the film industry but people often turn a blind eye to them as they are not famous or successful. Recently, Hollywood witnessed the Harvey Weinstein scandal which has put the spotlight on sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.

“I don’t think we provide an environment to our women to speak up about sexual abuse,” Kalki said in an interview with PTI.

“We only listen to people once they are successful or famous. There are a lot of women who are at the struggling stages of their career who talk about these things but no one will listen to their story.” The actor says people are interested in listening to someone only when they become famous. Weinstein has been in news following a New York Times and the New Yorker expose of his alleged sexual misconduct. More than 50 women including likes of Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lupita Nyong’o and Kate Beckinsale have detailed their encounter with the disgraced Hollywood producer.

The 33-year-old actor, however, says instead of “harping” on an incident that happened in Los Angeles, one should take responsibility for what is happening in the country. “We are harping on the Harvey Weinstein issue which happened in LA while we have our own issues — the incidents at High Spirits in Pune, or the TVF incident (its CEO Arunabh Kumar was accused of molesting a woman).

“You hear about these things for half a day and then it is gone. We need to take responsibility for our own stories. I feel it’s about time we start listening to them.” Recently actor Irrfan Khan said things are not that different in Bollywood as he was asked to compromise for work during his initial days.

While Kalki says no one will “dare” to do that with her, she is glad Irrfan spoke about the issue. “I don’t think anyone will dare to try and do anything with me. But there is mental coercion, texts messages at 2 am, that kind of things happen sometimes.

“I am glad that Irrfan talked about it because this happens to men as well. It is a power game. Those in power taking advantage of those less in power. It happens in the other industries too and not just Bollywood,” she adds. The actor will be next seen in “Ribbon” which also stars Sumeet Vyas. The film, directed by Rakhee Sandilya, is scheduled to release on November 3.

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