Sexual harassment in Tollywood: Actor Sri Reddy threatens to reveal big names

Rakul Preet had claimed at a press meet that nobody in the Telugu film industry had expected sexual favours from her.
Sexual harassment in Tollywood: Actor Sri Reddy threatens to reveal big names
Sexual harassment in Tollywood: Actor Sri Reddy threatens to reveal big names
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The debate about the prevalence of "casting couch", a euphemism for sexual harassment at the workplace, in the Telugu film industry has heated up with actor Sri Reddy threatening to name and shame the men who indulge in the practice.

It all started early this month when Sri Reddy gave an interview to a local Telugu channel and said that the "casting couch" was rampant in Tollywood. She also claimed that at least 90% of the women would have been asked for such ‘requests’ but would not openly admit it. 

Stating that Tollywood "exploited" women with "good figures", she even went to the extent of referring to some heroes as "brokers" for the producers and directors of the films.

Sri Reddy started her career as a news reader and later entered the movie industry. She also claimed that she was discriminated against by the Movie Artists Association (MAA), who allegedly denied her a membership.

She also claimed that she had proof to back her claims. The claims had resulted in a domino effect, sparking off discussions about the issue.

Following this, Telugu comedy actor Kalyani Padala, popularly known as ‘Karate’ Kalyani hit back at Sri Reddy for going public with the issues that she may have "personally" faced.

The discussion on Telugu channels continued to go downhill, and it got to a point where TV anchor E Sambashiva Rao of TV5 News asked actor Posani Murali Krishna on a show if there weren't "brokers" and "whores" in the film industry.

After the incident, the Movie Artists Association (MAA) was forced to hold a press meet to address the issue. 

Speaking to reporters, a visibly upset actor Manchu Lakshmi, daughter of veteran actor Mohan Babu, said that she had grown up in front of the people she was speaking to, and that she never thought things would come to such a state.

Slamming clickbait journalism, Manchu Lakshmi said, "I know you use us to make money." She appealed to the press to write correct information and not give in to sensationalism.

However, the press meet resulted in further controversy as actor Rakul Preet Singh, who is among the top heroines in the Telugu industry today, claimed that there was no "casting couch" in Tollywood.

Rakul added that when called for press meets and asked to speak on the "casting couch", she'd always said that in the last 4-5 years that she has worked in the Telugu industry, nobody had acted "funny" with her.

However, the comments didn't go down well with actors like Sri Reddy and Madhavi Lata, with the duo accusing Rakul Preet of being "scared of losing her job and good film offers."

Madhavi also said that the top actor had an obligation to tell the truth to create awareness for the next generation of female actors who will follow her into the film industry.

Meanwhile, Sri Reddy gave an interview to TV9 on Friday evening, in which she allegedly named and shamed several powerful men. However, she accused the channel of beeping out the names, as well as editing out important points that she raised.

Taking to Facebook, the actor said that she would now approach other TV channels who have the "guts" to broadcast her unedited version of events.

 Actor Radhika Apte had also recently revealed in an interview that she had snapped at a big star who had tickled her on the sets of a Telugu film.

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