The Casting Couch is a rather old-fashioned phrase that is associated with Hollywood. What does it mean? It means that powerful movie moguls make sexual advances to young actors or actresses in return for a role in a film. Ambition, and to an extent greed, dictates the reaction and a fresh actress aspiring for stardom may very well succumb. This is a universal human failing and it's something that cannot be wished away. Now we have the Case of the Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein, accused of exploiting women and actresses. The casting couch theory has been reinforced but it has always been in existence, ever since Hollywood appeared on the scene.

There are tons of stories of sexual harassment that have been circulating since Hollywood first began. One of the first cases of sexual assault was in 1921 when the million dollar star, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, reportedly raped a young actress. Now a hundred years later allegations against Weinstein are doing the rounds, according to a report by CNN.

Sexual harassment

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein stands accused of sexual harassment by nearly 30 women, many of whom are in the film industry. The accusations have piled up thick and fast. The majority who have accused Weinstein of acts of impropriety are women, who were either aspiring to be actresses or were looking for a break in the film world.

The lid has been blown and the movie mogul stands unmasked, more like the emperor who had no clothes at all. One thing is clear, men like Weinstein have got away with their actions as the victims were trapped. The victims were powerless as men like Weinstein had the backing of the establishment and aspiring starlets were afraid that if they spoke out, it would be the end of their careers.

Weinstein was in that position and he exploited his power to the hilt. Though he has denied it, there are reports that he carried out settlements with at least eight of his victims, the BBC reported.

Last word

This phenomenon is not confined to Hollywood but its clone Bollywood is replete with tales about the casting couch.

Weinstein was not the first and certainly not the last. Many top actresses have now come out in the open, but one can't help feeling its a little too late in the day. He probably will be punished and his personal life is ruptured with his wife leaving him. The New York police have also opened an investigation into him. Weinstein's goose is cooked and he may even end up in prison. That is part of the 'game' he should have factored in - there is always a price to pay.

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