In a candid revelation, television actor Zeeshan Khan, known for his appearances in popular shows like Kumkum Bhagya, Bigg Boss OTT, and Lock Upp, recently shared his unsettling experiences with casting couch and inappropriate propositions within the entertainment industry. Reflecting on his journey, Zeeshan opened up about encountering uncomfortable situations throughout his career.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Zeeshan recounted an incident from his early days, where he was paid a meager sum of Rs 3000 per day for his work on a television show. However, receiving his payment became a daunting task as he had to deal with the head of a talent management agency who refused to release his dues.
Zeeshan further revealed a distressing encounter with a “popular” casting director. During a meeting at the director’s office, he was asked to remove his T-shirt to showcase his physique. While initially complying, the director pushed the boundaries by demanding Zeeshan to drop his pants as well, a request he vehemently refused. This refusal angered the casting director, who issued threats of regret if Zeeshan didn’t comply.
Recalling the incident, Zeeshan shared, “He asked me to show my body. So, I said, ‘I’ll send you pictures and everything.’ But then he insisted, ‘People usually edit pictures, so just remove your T-shirt.’ I agreed to remove my tee. But then he wanted me to show my legs. He asked me to drop my pants. I refused and told him that he could see my legs from my jeans. He said, ‘Many others like you have come before, and after two months, they have agreed to do whatever was asked of them. I have said no to them. Remember that you have said no to me, and you will regret it.’ I would rather live with the regret of saying no to you than the regret of saying yes.”
Apart from the casting couch experiences, Zeeshan also disclosed an incident where a fashion designer attempted to kiss him at an official launch event. Additionally, he revealed being offered work as a stripper at parties, with people contacting him under the guise of event organizers and later revealing the true nature of the gatherings.
Zeeshan’s candid revelations shed light on the darker side of the entertainment industry and the challenges faced by aspiring actors. It serves as a reminder of the importance of creating a safe and respectful work environment for all individuals pursuing their dreams in showbiz.
As Zeeshan Khan bravely shares his personal encounters, his story highlights the need for continued discussions and efforts to address issues such as casting couch and exploitation within the industry. It is crucial to foster an environment where talent can thrive without fear or compromise.
Stay tuned for more updates as the entertainment industry works towards creating a healthier and more inclusive space for everyone involved.