It looks as if veteran lyricist Vairamuthu, who was recently named in the #MeToo movement, has been dropped from Mani Ratnam's upcoming magnum opus, Ponniyin Selvan. On December 13, the makers formally announced the cast and crew of the movie, and Vairamuthu's name was conspicuous by its absence.
A few months ago, when reports emerged that Vairamuthu had been signed on for Ponniyin Selvan, netizens on Twitter questioned Mani Ratnam's ethics in co-opting the veteran lyricist after he was accused of sexual harassment by singer Chinmayi.
While the film's makers and Ratnam were silent over the matter, recent reports suggest that the award-winning lyricist is no longer part of the project.
However, no official confirmation regarding Vairamuthu's part (or lack of it) in Ponniyin Selvan is available. Sources close to the film crew refuse to reveal any details in this regard.
According to earlier reports, eight women, including singer Chinmayi Sripaada, accused Vairamuthu of sexual misconduct during the #MeToo movement in 2018. Yet, the lyricist continued to get opportunities and spearheaded several events. On the other hand, the women who named him were spurned and have been out of the industry for about a year now.
If the news of Vairamuthu's exclusion is true, then it's a small victory for the women who called him out for misconduct.
Ponniyin Selvan went on floors in Thailand and the first schedule of shooting is expected to go on for about 40 days. The first schedule features Jayam Ravi, Karthi and Aishwarya Lekshmi. Composer AR Rahman has already started working on the film.
Pre-production work on has been going on for over six months now. The makers are in the process of erecting huge sets to shoot crucial portions of the film in Chennai and elsewhere.