Mumbai, Oct 6: In the wake of the #MeToo movement gaining momentum in Bollywood, film personality Malaika Arora says it is important to create safe working environment for women and believes the only way to achieve that is if women come out and name perpetrators.
After actor Tanushree Dutta alleged harassment by Nana Patekar on a film set, a debate has opened up about the safety of women in a professional space.
Malaika, who has featured in several films and has been a former model, is aware of the importance of women safety in the entertainment industry.
“We can keep talking about it that we want to work in a safe environment. But the only way we can achieve that is when we talk about it and actually call out the supposed perpetrators. That’s the only way,” Malaika told PTI.
“If someone is violating your space, dignity, life, if you won’t talk no one will know. Everytime you step out of the house you can’t be in the fear that oh my God my work space is going to be a hell whole. We need to change this,” she added.
For both, the modelling and the film industry, the perception has been that these are tricky places to work in, especially for women and Malaika says the mentality that everyone is “easy” to get needs to change.
“There’s tons of opportunities in front of you. A lot of people feel it’s very easy just because they wear a short skirt or drink and smoke, they label a girl.
“Apparently that’s what makes her easy for anybody to prey on. That mentality needs to change. She’s a woman and that’s her choice to do what she wants,” she added.
Malaika will be seen as a mentor in the fourth season of “India’s Next Top Model” on MTV.
The former VJ says this year the emphasis will be not only on the way models look but also their backstory.
“It’s now about the journey from where they’ve come, how they made it Mumbai and their dreams and aspirations. We really tap into their journey. It gives us a better insight into the girls, some of them don’t have money, don’t know how to put on a lipstick but by the end of it they just transform.”
Malaika is seen on different reality shows on TV but has largely stayed away from acting on the big screen, something which she doesn’t feel is a “necessity.”
“Film industry has given me so much love even though I’m not an actress. I really appreciate that. In today’s day and age, it isn’t just about the big screen anymore. With the online space taking over, it has become larger than life. That’s where you should be. So never say never,” she says.
“India’s Next Top Model” starts airing from today.