“I can walk into any room and command respect. Nobody can take that away from me.”
In the wake of serious allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood super-producer Harvey Weinstein – and his partial admission of wrongdoing – actresses worldwide have been speaking up about the culture that allowed it to happen. After actress Alyssa Milano tweeted saying “me too,” it became a hashtag and was picked up by women talking about harassment they’ve faced.
The latest star to speak up is Bollywood actress Lara Dutta, who was just in Dubai to host the Maritime Awards.
“It is fantastic that women are coming out and speaking about it now,” she said in an interview with Gulf News.
“Even though it happening in Hollywood, the spillover is happening and it’s reflecting in Bollywood too. But we can’t allow the movement to die down.
“I genuinely believe that women in the industry should come together and say — come what may, my career is independent of any producer, director or male actor,” Dutta continued.
Dutta says she’s made her career work on her own terms.
“I can walk into any room and command respect. Nobody can take that away from me. That to me, is having it all,” she told Gulf News.
Weinstein, who was a co-founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company, was behind films like Shakespeare in Love, Pulp Fiction, Clerks, and The Crying Game. After allegations against him were reported in The New York Times earlier in October, actresses like Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow have come forward with their own experiences.
Among them was Dutta’s fellow Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, who said she didn’t think Weinstein’s actions were isolated.
“It’s the power of men trying to take away the power of women. It’s about feeling powerful and macho,” she said, speaking at a Marie Claire event in San Francisco. “It’s not just about sexuality. It’s not about sex. It’s about power.”
“We’ve been told our femininity is our weakness, but it is not. We can be compassionate. We can be tough. When you open your mouth, you deliver.”
Dutta is best known for roles in Chalo Dilli, which she also produced, and Andaaz. She was Miss Universe in 2000.