#SilenceOfTheKnown: Preity Zinta's laughs is exactly what #MeToo doesn't need
The #MeToo movement finds its strength in support, survivors believing each other and lending a shoulder. While harassers get away with almost anything they do, accusers just want to be heard. Amid all this, actress Preity Zinta dismissing the movement and hoping 'she was harassed' is what #MeToo doesn't need. Preity rushed to defend Bollywood, rather than supporting victims, and we are disappointed.
Preity, who will be seen with Sunny Deol in 'Bhaiyyaji Superhit', was speaking to Bollywood Hungama's Faridoon Shahryar when she was questioned about #MeToo. About the movement, Preity said the assaults weren't unique to Bollywood but happened everywhere (no one has ever denied it, though). She claimed Bollywood was one of the safest places and slammed 'few women who derailed' the movement.
"I think it is important for women to use it in the right manner. I feel bad when women use the movement for personal vendetta or publicity. There are a small percentage of women who are using it," she said.
Further, when asked if she ever faced harassment in the industry, Preity laughed and said, "I wish I had. Then I would have an answer to give you." She added people treated you the way you wanted to be treated. Notably, Faridoon agreed and said there were instances when women, who were denied a role, turned around and said they were assaulted.
Q. Did you ever have a #MeToo experience?— Prasanto K Roy (@prasanto) November 18, 2018
A. Giggle. Giggle. Ha ha. I wish I had!!!
"Aaj ki sweetu, kal ki metoo ho sakti hai, ha ha": The lovely @realpreityzinta does some unexpected victim shaming pic.twitter.com/F0Rc05Cbws
It is surprising how the laugh which captivated us on the silver screen, was this infuriating in this interview. By wishing she was assaulted so 'she would have a story', Preity has disregarded all the women who mustered the courage to speak up. While celebrating her privilege, Preity forgot not all women enjoy the same cover, most have to keep up with harassment every day.
If she has paid attention to all stories of assault in Bollywood and still believes 'she is doing it for publicity', Preity's understanding is flawed. Vinta Nanda kept silent for 18 years, Tanushree Dutta for a decade, and accusers of Sajid Khan for many years. These women spoke up because it was important to name harassers, not because they wanted to get famous.
What makes Preity's comment more dismaying is the fact that she filed a complaint against her former boyfriend Ness Wadia. Ness allegedly harassed and manhandled Preity in 2014 during an IPL match and she went to police. She showed photographs of the alleged abuse, and marks on her body. In September, when Ness wanted the case to be quashed, Preity sought more time. For someone who has faced harassment herself, one would expect Preity to be more empathetic. Alas! Life isn't fair.
While Preity was quick to give the (un)acceptable reply in Bollywood, it would have been best if she learned something from Sonam Kapoor. Sonam wrote a piece for Thrive Global India's online portal teaching people how to deal with #MeToo movement. "Yes, a person is innocent until proven guilty but must it come at the cost of rejecting a survivor's account," she had written.
Really sad 2see how the interview Is edited to trivialis be insensitive. Not everything is traction as someone being interviewed I expected decency maturity froma journalist @iFaridoon. I did 25 interviews that day only yours turned out edited like this #dissappointed— Preity G Zinta (@realpreityzinta) November 19, 2018