Nobody dare misbehave with women on my set: SRKby Opinion Express February 1, 2018 0 comments
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who has just been given an award for his philanthropic work and advancing women’s rights at the World Economic Forum in Davos, admitted that putting the woman lead’s name ahead of his in a film was a tokenism but even that would be of con- sequence in at least getting the idea of equality in the creative workspace going. And he insisted that nobody has dared to misbehave with a woman on his film sets.
Khan was talking to BBC’s Hard Talk after he was feted and asked how in a sexist industry he could be the voice of justice, particularly when Kangana Ranaut was the sole voice of exploitation and sexual harassment. “You know personally, at a level when I’m malting films or working in films, we’re very clear about the attitude to women. Even the smallest aspects, of the names coming first in title, which is not going to do anything,but tile kind of respectability;’ he said.On putting the woman lead’s name ahead in the film credits and whether that was just an empty gesture, Khan said, “You don’t have to push me too far to agree with this, but it’s a way of trying to say even this small tiling needs to be done just to bring about tile equality, just see what we’ve reduced ourselves to. You know, to put a girl’s name in front just to show what little guys we are, thinking of them as equals. And that is sad and that is strangely dichotomous when you’re talking about creativity, and you have boys and girls working together. I’ve never personally, first hand and nobody, if I may say, nobody dared misbehave with a woman on my set, I’m very clear on that.”
Asked if his co-actors haven’t confidenced in him about inappropriate behaviour by others in the industry, Khan said, “I’m very close to tile women I work with. Nobody has said this. This interview you talk about (Kangana) perhaps … But I’ve never personally been told so on my sets. Maybe it also stems from tile fact I’ve just been, mother, my sister, my wife, my daughter, I’ve just been with women. I’ve been brought up by women”
On inter-communal tensions and divisions, Khan said even trolling indicated there was some sort of communicative engagement and that dissent would finalIy make way for dialogue. “There will be dissent for everything and I think like you would also believe and we all believe, there has to be a discussion on it. There can’t be a radical standoff when there is dissent. I think you can have a discussion …..we are the biggest democracy and if you are the biggest democracy, dissent is a part and parcel of that as much as is discussion. So when you have a story and you know when you go out sometimes there’s dissent, as a film maker, as a citizen of a country as a citizen of the world, you just have a little bit of discussion about it and sort it out instead of you know taking standoff positions. So it is possible.
“Because of social media within all this trolling and anger and people expressing themselves, they’re all also connecting. So I feel we’re on the cusp of something amazingly inclusive and integrating in this kind of dissent. I just see it on social media. I don’t see it live anywhere and I would be wrong to comment on it that way, but I think if you have this kind of dissent or whatever if people claim it, I think just a bit of discussion especially, finally, if it’s not going to be inclusive, everybody will suffer. I think we’re not at that stage at all in our country,” said Khan.