A model-turned-actress has come up with serious allegations that are considered elsewhere as secrets of the showbiz, popularly known as casting couch culture.
Faria Shahrin, who won Lux-Channel-i Superstar pageant in 2007 and rose to fame with a television commercial, said the industry had not been a cakewalk for her.
In an interview with Prothom Alo, Faria raised a number of allegations of sexual harassment against several producers, directors, businessmen and others without directly naming them.
Excerpts of her interview are as follows:
Prothom Alo: People loved your TVC 'Kotha Dilam' for mobile phone operator Banglalink. But, you didn't work much after that...
Faria: Yes, the TVC was a huge hit. Despite the fact, I worked only in a few projects. After 'Kotha Dilam', I started getting objectionable offers from some big businessmen. They wanted me to accompany them in their trips. Some of them directly offered me money for that saying ''how much money do you want?'' I even received marriage proposals, then. A university teacher and newspaper-editor-turned-producer of TV plays proposed me, even on the set of shooting. I was so embarrassed that I could not go alone for shooting and used to take my friend there. I was scared and decided to be quiet for some time.
Prothom Alo: Why don't you mention their names?
Faria: I don't want to do that. I've already made a number of enemies in the industry. At the end of the day, I don't want to
get killed. It's a matter of embarassment and fear to talk about anyone in the industry.
Prothom Alo: Have you shared these embarrassing situations with anyone?
Faria: I could not dare to share these things with my parents. But, I used to share these with my close friends.
Prothom Alo: You worked in a film. Why don't you carry on your Dhallywood career?
Faria: I have received a number of offers. But when directors said I would have to sit with producers and take dinner with them, I turned down the offers. Once, filmmaker Sohel Arman wanted me to act in his film, 'Ei Toh Prem'. But I couldn't do that as I had come to know I would act in the film opposite Shakib Khan. I came to know that I had to make compromise in that case.
Prothom Alo: Is it believable?
Faria: Many people told me about this and I believed that.
Prothom Alo: What kind of environment do you want to work in the industry?
Faria: I want to work professionally. I find no reasons of keeping relations after work. But, producers want me to hang out with them, have cups of coffee, keep a constant contact with them and more after work. I can't do that.
Prothom Alo: Don't you want to work in film projects any more?
Faria: I've recently watched 'Halda'. I want to work in projects like this. In most cases, I'm offered to do commercial projects.
Prothom Alo: What are you busy with now?
Faria: I'll be busy shooting a TV play, 'Atanka' from 21 to 22 January. Besides, I'm studying media marketing in Malaysia's Asia Pacific University.
*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla Online, has been rewritten in English by Imam Hossain.