Shenaz Treasury feels sexual harassment is a reality — whether it is Hollywood or Bollywood, and says she has “experienced it first-hand”.
“Whether it’s Hollywood or Bollywood, sexual harassment is a reality. I’ve experienced it first-hand and I know many of my counterparts have as well. The image it paints is simply a reflection of a male-dominated industry, but with pressure and support for #MeToo activism, things will change,” said Shenaz.
“Take a look at the wave of truth that has toppled so many powerful men in the West. I think men in the industry have been put on notice that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated any longer,” added the actor, without divulging any information about her own experience.
Shenaz was referring to the #MeToo campaign aimed at raising awareness about sexual harassment, and a slew of sexual misconduct allegations levelled against Hollywood biggies like Harvey Weinstein, Stan Lee, Ben Affleck, Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Dustin Hoffman, James Toback and Kevin Spacey, who have been accused for sexually harassing people associated with showbiz. The controversy has rocked the entertainment industry the world over, and is making people stand up with women fighting for justice and driving movements like Time’s Up.
The actor, who is looking forward to the dark comedy Kaalakaandi, slated to release on Friday, is hoping all the initiatives will bring “equality”. “But that’s not going to happen overnight. It will begin with respect and move to empowerment of more female decision-makers in the industry. Most of all, I am hoping for choice. Women should be able to choose where they want to work in the industry, and how they want to be represented on screen. Equitable salaries will be the next battlefront if we can win the war for choice,” added Shenaz.
At the moment, she is excited about her next film. Directed by debutant Akshat Verma, who wrote Delhi Belly, Kaalakaandi is the story of six characters from different worlds — urban, ambitious Mumbai and its dark, neglected underbelly. It also stars Saif Ali Khan, Deepak Dobriyal, Vijay Raaz, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Sobhita Dhulipala, Akshay Oberoi, Isha Talwar, Shivam Patil, Amyra Dastur and Neil Bhoopalam.
Of the film, Shenaz said, “When I read the script, I knew I had to be part of this chaotic and intense night out in Mumbai. Shooting was a lot of fun; my character is out celebrating her birthday with good friends and sometimes it’s hard on set to maintain the intensity of the same moment over weeks of shooting, but they assembled such a talented ensemble cast that it was easy to feed off of each other’s energy.”
Shenaz feels viewers need to buckle up for the film. “It’s definitely a dark comedy, but there are so many relatable human interactions at the heart of the film that makes it as endearing as it is shocking,” she added.
What else is keeping her busy? “I’ve been busy working on my second career as a travel influencer. Over the past year, I’ve travelled all over the world to places like Bali, Tulum, St. Moritz, The Maldives, Greece, Copenhagen, California, New York and all over India. I have several exciting trips lined up for 2018, including Dubai, Israel, Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic.
“I’m also excited about some upcoming opportunities in Hollywood and a new web series that are in the works,” said the actress, who has featured in Brown Nation and The Big Sick.