Veteran film and television actor Dalip Tahil talks about how the most vulnerable in the entertainment industry have been exploited for decades, and how, 25 years ago, he opposed a film director who wanted to shoot a rape scene without telling the female actor anything beforehand.
All kinds of exploitation stories are tumbling out of the entertainment industry’s cupboard only now, but veteran actor Dalip Tahil states that it was always there, and he knew it. “As far as I can remember, for 40 years in this industry, women — and even men — haven’t had a say,” says Tahil, who hit the headlines in late October for stating that he recorded a female actor’s consent before filming a rape scene for a web series. He tells us that this isn’t something he has done in the wake of the #MeToo wave hitting India; he did this, i.e. took a woman’s consent, even 25 years ago.
“People should stop exploiting people who are vulnerable in… whether it’s your business, my business, or corporate [sector]. This time around, I was a senior actor, and I asked the production company for a letter [of consent]. Then I realised that we have cell phones and [also] recorded it,” he says. “At the end of the day, the blame comes on the person who’s on the screen. I don’t like to do things without the consent of my colleague.”