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“They Go Down On Their Knees And Say Let Me Touch You”

By Sampad May1,2024

Actor Ankit Gupta On Casting Couch: 'They Go Down On Their Knees And Say Let Me Touch You'

Image instagrammed by Ankit Gupta. (Courtesy: AnkitGupta)

New Delhi:

Actor Ankit Gupta is one of the most popular faces on Indian television today. However, his rise to stardom was not without its fair share of struggle. Speaking to Pinkvilla, Ankit Gupta opened about having faced the horrors of the casting couch early in his career. The actor said that several people would meet him, promise him job opportunities in return for favours. When asked if Ankit Gupta had ever faced the casting couch in his career, the star said with a wry smile, “I have met such people that I can’t even tell you. There are people, they call you with offers, and they tell you lots of stories and they take a lot of names… usko mein banaya, isko mein launch kiya [ I launched that person], to convince you they would say anything.”

Sharing what he was told by those engaging in such activities, Ankit Gupta said, “‘Everybody does it, Ankit. You want to work in the industry? This is how it’s done. Tu abhi nahi karega, 2-3 saal baad ayega, phir kahega aab kar lo, mein nahi karunga (You are not doing it right now, but you will return after a few years and agree to do it then.) You don’t wanna waste 2-3 years.’” 

Ankit Gupta added, “I have met such people… I don’t know if I should say this on camera or not, they would go down on their knees and say, at least let me touch you. That’s it, nothing.”

Previously, actor Shiv Thakare – who was a contestant alongside Ankit Gupta in Bigg Boss 16 – also spoke about his casting couch experience in the industry. Sharing that the casting couch is a bane that does not discriminate between men and women, Shiv Thakare told Hindustan Times in March, “I once went for an audition in Aram Nagar and he took me to the bathroom and said, ‘Yaha pe massage centre hai’. I didn’t get the connection between an audition and a massage centre. He told me, ‘Ek baar aap aao yaha audition ke baad. Aap workout bhi karte ho…‘ I just left the place, since he was a casting director and I didn’t want to take any pangas.”

He added, “I am no Salman Khan. But I realised there is no discrimination between men and women when it comes to this (casting couch),” adding, “There was a ma’am in Four Bungalows. She would tell me ki, ‘Maine isko banaya hai, maine usko banaya hai’. She was calling me for an audition at 11 in the night. Itna bhola toh nahi hoon main ki I won’t understand what auditions happen at night. So, I told her that I have some work and I cannot make it. To this, she said, ‘Kaam nahi karna?’ ‘You won’t get work in the industry’ and other such things. So, they would demotivate you and manipulate you. But I would never get bothered by it,” echoing what Ankit Gupta would come to say several months later. 

On the work front, Ankit Gupta was last seen in the TV show Junooniyatt

By Sampad

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