Actress against casting couch strips in protest, arrested
Sri Reddy has indirectly accused some big directors and producers of using the casting couch.
Sri Reddy, an upcoming 27-year-old actress and crusader against the casting couch malady in Tollywood, the Telugu film industry, was arrested on Saturday for stripping in front of the Film Chamber of Commerce office at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad. She was taken to the police station and booked under sections for creating public nuisance and defamation of certain public personalities.
Sri Reddy, two days ago, had threatened to go nude in front of the chambers office after some of the film industry seniors made derogatory comments against her campaign. Based on a complaint by the film chambers, the police deployed security personnel since morning at the office, but the actress suddenly appeared on the street and went topless and staged a sit-in. However, women cops whisked her off.
The actress, who has acted in a few feature films and a few television serials, has been running a campaign for the last five-six months, seeking more opportunities for Telugu actresses in Telugu films. Her main grouse was that several leading Telugu film-makers and directors preferred non-Telugu speaking actresses, especially those from Mumbai, due to the alleged casting couch practice in Tollywood.
Claiming herself to be a victim of casting couch, Sri said in her interviews with the local TV channels that many of the upcoming heroines were suffering silently. Sri Reddy indirectly named some big directors and producers and even cinematographers. There were protests and denials from some of them including leading director Shekhar Kammula who rubbished her charges.
Sri Reddy’s public tirade encouraged a few other new actresses, who too claimed to be the victims in the film industry. They all made open appeals to filmmakers to give them a chance to act in their films. So far, a senior Tollywood director Teja has come forward to offer a role to Sri Reddy.
Sri Reddy has been accusing non-Telugu heroines of maintaining silence on this alleged practice. But leading heroine Rakul Preet Singh stated that as far as she was concerned there was no such practice of casting couch in Tollywood. Sri Reddy said that she would prove Rakul wrong before the national media.