Lately, the onslaught of news from Hollywood has demonstrated how pervasive, problematic, and downright dangerous many standard Tinseltown practices really are. But this is not a problem unique to the American film industry or even to America in general. In many ways, Bollywood is just as awful as Hollywood even though Bollywood films seem fun and colorful. Both American and Indian cultures have long wrestled with a variety of social issues, and both countries' film industries have struggled with and sometimes contributed to the gulfs of misunderstanding and misrepresentation that have sprung up in a larger cultural context.
With Hollywood's misogynistic ways finally coming into focus as the Harvey Weinstein allegations become increasingly numerous, more and more people are talking about how women are treated in Bollywood. The actresses there face many of the same obstacles as American actresses, but there are different cultural influences and expectations that further complicate the issue. Shining a light on the subject may reveal some troubling things about Bollywood, but the light is imperative. Maybe these revelations will change things for the better.
Blackface Is Common
Women Are UnderpaidPhoto: Bang Bang!/Fox Star Studios
Women Are Given Trivial Roles
Leading Male Actors Often Choose Their Leading LadiesPhoto: Jab We Met/Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision
Male Executives Demand Sexual Favors From Their Prospective ActressesPhoto: Madmast Barkhaa/Singh Multimedia Creation
Female Writers And Directors Are A Small MinorityPhoto: Chorni/Kesar Films