With Me Too gaining momentum in India, actresses from the South film industry are coming out and sharing their horrifying stories. Recently, Sanjjanaa Galrani spoke about the sexual harassment she faced in the industry. The actress went Live on Facebook to share about the ordeal she faced. Sanjjanaa, revealed that she was allegedly forced to do scenes by the director Ravi Srivatsa which she was uncomfortable with while shooting her debut film Ganda Hendathi, in 2006.
In the video, the actress said, “This has happened to everyone, there is nothing to hide…It can be the ways in which the shots were taken – but it made me uncomfortable. The moment a female actor lies down on her back, the focus shifts to her chest. If she is wearing a skirt, the focus is on her leg.”
She further said, “It’s about an incident from 12 years ago. There is nothing to hide. There were shots from various angles that made it look dirty. Many suggested that I was happy to do obscene scenes. I wanted to speak about this but this topic triggers a headache.”
She added, “I was a victim. Before I signed, they told me that it is the remake of the Hindi film Murder. I initially refused to do the film when I was told that there would be a kissing scene in the film, although they said it will be according to South Indian principles. They repeatedly stressed that if the scene was not part of the film, the audience will not understand the turning point in the plot. I thought a one kiss would not make a big difference since I have seen this happen in colleges.”
Now earlier today, Karnataka Film Directors Association alleged that Kannada actress Sanjjanaa has misused #metoo movement to stay in the limelight. Film Directors Association President Nagendra Prasad in an interaction with media said, “We have our complete support to #MeToo movement, but Sanjjanaa and Ravi Srivatsa’s issue is a different one. It’s nothing related to doing with #MeToo movement. Actress Sanjjanaa is misusing the situation just to be in the limelight.”
Also, the makers of the film including Ravi Srivatsa, director Mussanje Mahesh (then assistant director for Ravi), cinematographer Mathew Rajan, editor Lakshman Reddy attended the press conference. The team denied any such incident happened on the sets or during the shoot. The makers of the film also presented the interview cuttings from the newspaper where Sanjjanaa spoke everything positive about the director and team.
Director Ravi Srivatsa said, “Sanjjanaa was never ill-treated or anybody of us misbehaved with her. She was treated with due respect at every point of the film. We had scheduled shooting for 21 days in Bangkok, which was also informed to her earlier.”
He further added, “On October 14 Sanjjanaa had invited me to her birthday celebrations, which was scheduled in a five-star hotel, but on October 17 she passed these allegations. I remember Sanjjanaa had also asked me to do the remake of Jism 2, where she is ready to act.”