Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 30:
The arrest of Odisha’s top shot choreographer-director Lubun of the famous Lubun-Tubun duo late on Monday night may have thrown the lid off the best kept secret of the industry – the existence of ‘casting couch’. But just about everyone runs for cover when asked to comment on the phenomenon.
The entertainment industry is obviously in a state of panic after a case of casting couch involving Odia music video choreographer Lubun Sen came to the fore. But there are some who are willing to speak on the issue on condition of anonymity and the stories they narrate do no credit to the Lubun-Tubun brothers or the industry at large.
While most actors we spoke to denounced the incident, some of them went on to point to some directors and producers who they say are guilty of the same offence.
“The casting couch is not only limited to music video business. It is also thriving in the movie world. Even established actresses are made to go through this ordeal to get more work,” said a senior actress while adding a bit of backgrounder to Lubun.
“He earlier had another run-in with the law when he was discovered with an established actress in an inappropriate position inside a car near Janata Maidan of Bhubaneswar. He was taken to the police station, but managed to come out and resume his dirty deeds,” she added.
It may be noted that Lubun, along with his brother Tubun, recently had planned to direct a couple of movies that were produced by the mining mafia. The real intention, however, was to feed their ulterior motives. Two Bengali actors who were here for the movie went back after the producer and directors had their share of fun in the shooting set. The shooting of the movie remains incomplete. Poor girls were not even paid as promised for all the work they did, reliable sources in the industry say.
The involvement of a TV channel owner, who used to play the music videos made by the Lubun-Tubun duo, in the dirty business has also been talked about in hushed tones. The screen-tests of the actresses were apparently organised in the studio of this channel. Lubun, sources said, used to take full advantage of his position to lure girls to have physical relations with him. The channel owner too was a stakeholder in the scheme of things.
The Lubun-Tubun production managed by the brothers ruled the local entertainment industry with the active backing of industrialists. Choreography to editing and shooting were all conducted by them and in turn they had near monopoly in selecting the girls who consented to their scheme of things.
The brothers did get into trouble on one more occasion, but managed to strike a deal with the family of the girl and escaped unharmed.
Lubun was arrested on Monday night on charges of blackmailing an aspiring actress after raping and shooting nude videos of her as we had reported here: http://odishasuntimes.com/125104/odisha-choreographer-arrested-for-blackmailing-music-album-actress/
“The situation is alarming and highly discouraging for young girls hoping to make a mark in the entertainment business and equally demotivating for their parents. If the trend continues, the days are not far when Bengalis will rule the entertainment business in Odisha again,” opined a senior actor of the industry.