The Hindi film industry is under the scanner for all the wrong reasons and has been called out for being a place which thrives on lobbying other than talent. For actor Vivek Oberoi, the recent turn of events has not been much of a surprise, and in fact, he admits being someone who has faced all this firsthand.
“There always has been lobby, people abusing their power. I have been a victim of that myself. You know there is always been a lobby that has a massive influence and power and they have used it to enrich and benefit themselves and rather than create an ecosystem and a democratic place where new talent just blossoms,” shares Oberoi.
The 44-year-old notes that the situation in the ‘60s and ‘70s was very different from what it has become in the recent decades. Back then it was all about talent and then suddenly this became “a lobby kind of club.”
Sharing his own experiences in Bollywood, he says, “I have experienced it. I have seen the time from being offered all these choices from people saying to ‘Sorry man I can’t work with you anymore because XYZ asked us not to or that we have this pressure and that pressure. I have seen it firsthand how people abuse their power.”
Oberoi also believes that people on the receiving end have had enough and that is why they are reacting this way and raising their voices against being treated as second-class citizens in the film industry.
“I did very early and I tried to stand up against this and I didn’t get any support back then. I did stand up against the system and said this is unfair and not cool. But it was ahead of its time and I didn’t get any support at that time and I paid the price for it,” he says.
Calling the experiences that he has had as plain bullying, the actor explains, “Post that I decided that the best way to live my life was to insulate myself from all this. I decided that I don’t want to be a part of this circus and I just want to be a part of making good films . When you are bullied, you either become a bully or you become a protector, your nature changes. I took the latter approach. I wanted to help as many people as I could. I want to create an ecosystem which I missed and that is a collaborative ecosystem where there is no hierarchy. There is no high low, everyone is valued and respected.”