As if the posters featuring a scantily-clad Karishma Sharma weren’t enough, Ragini MMS Returns created more buzz thanks to an apparently ‘leaked’ MMS of actress Riya Sen. The clip shows Riya’s character getting intimate with her boyfriend — on her wedding night. Though the leaked video was a big deal, some doubt the authenticity of the clip claiming that it could have been a deliberate PR attempt, rather than an accident. It was during research in this context that we stumbled upon an interview of Riya’s co-star from the series, Nishant Malkani. In an interview with a leading entertainment portal, the actor who plays the boyfriend in the leaked MMS clip, spoke about working in the series.
He talked about how he was thrilled to be sharing a scene with his ‘crush’ Riya Sen. He also thanked producer Vikas Gupta and Ekta Kapoor for offering him a role in the web series. But what he said while describing a particular scene with Riya holds the maximum importance. He talked about a scene which he finds funny and said:
So I remember the other day when we were shooting for this love making scene, Riya suddenly got so happy and suggested I should pull down my pants and flaunt my butt cheek just like how John Abraham did in Dostana 2. I didn’t take her seriously until she literally pulled down my pants while we were shooting the scene and exposed my butt cheek. I was like whattt?? At least you could have told me before doing it and she was like oh don’t worry, people seeing your butt cheeks are going to love you. Trust me all the women are going to love you…you have a great body and this and that I couldn’t go beyond “Riya kya kar rahi hai yaar, bata toh deti?
Sexual harassment is never okay:
In case this isn’t clear yet, this counts as sexual harassment. A better known actress sexually harassed a virtually unknown actor on the sets of a film and nobody minded. Riya pulled down Nishant’s pants without his consent. When he reacted and objected, the actress actually told him that he had nothing to worry since female viewers are going to love his ‘butt cheeks.’
Had the genders been reversed, would we be okay with it? Even though the man did take offence, as is evident from this statement: “I was like whattt?? At least you could have told me before doing it”, he decided to let it go.
Wouldn’t there be a furore of righteous social media anger had the situation been casually dealt with had the victim been Riya, and not Nishant (or any other male actor for that matter)? Consent is key – be it for a man or a woman. Why do we casually treat situations when the victim is a man? Our conditioning is such that men themselves don’t speak up against sexual harassment no matter how traumatic. What’s even worse is that they don’t even realise they may have been sexually harassed, and that there’s a need to call out what happened to them.
Quote from Bollywood Life