When the news of Jeetendra allegedly sexually abusing his cousin hit the headlines recently, the film fraternity and audiences were shocked. The allegation, comes amid the #MeToo campaign, during which women have come out about facing sexual abuse at the hands of powerful men. While several actors have accused Hollywood’s powerful men, the Hindi film industry — while admitting the prevalence of abuse — have not named and shamed anyone openly. The reason being, unlike in Hollywood; Bollywood relys heavily on filmi families and ‘nepotism’ to climb the ladder. To speak out, is to risk one’s career.
Jeetendra is now, 75, and is a well-known name in the Hindi film industry. His daughter is TV and film producer Ekta Kapoor, who is one of the most powerful women in business. She is known to have launched stars like Vidya Balan, Sushant Singh Rajput, Prachi Desai and above all Smriti Irani. But before her father’s incident came to light the TV tsarina had recently come out saying #MeToo, to tell the world that she too had not been spared. She said, “the movement is necessary in India, and particularly in the entertainment industry, as sexual abuse is very prevalent here.”