Kochi: The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) on Saturday slammed the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) for protecting a rape accused instead of the survivor.
Terming as “the initial move to clean up the dirt” in Malayalam film industry, the WCC accused it of irresponsive attitude towards its demands and reinstatement Dileep charged with hiring a rapist to seek revenge on a former co-star.
“At a time when the nation is supporting the #MeToo campaign and acting against the perpetrators, this industry is just doing the opposite,” said Rima Kallingal, who addressed a press conference along with others.
“Similar cases are seen in the Bollywood over a week. A director who is accused of sexual abuse is being removed by the organisers from the Aamir Khan –Kiran Rao movie. Even a production house is being dispersed after its co-owner is being the accused in the #Metoo movement. And here, director B. Unnikrishnan announces his movie with the accused actor.”
Revathy, Padmapriya and Parvathy said the executive committee of AMMA had betrayed them by deciding to postpone the issue of reinstating Dileep to the next general body meeting.
A meeting of the EC held here on October 11 had decided that only the general body could decide on whether to review its earlier decision to reinstate the actor.
The three formally introduced themselves to media in reply to AMMA president Mohanlal’s referring to them as “three actors” in his recent statement.
“He couldn’t mention our names, the three names. That is why we felt the need to introduce ourselves, that who we are, with names and with what we have done,” Revathy said.
They alleged that during the first 40 minutes of their meeting with the executive committee on August 7, they faced severe accusations.
“We faced accusations including lack of participation in the meetings. But later, the committee slipped into pin-drop silence, after we played an audio clip by the survivor,” Parvathy said, not revealing its content.
“People admire actors. That means they have some responsibility to the public. But instead of that, we have witnessed the EC members indulging in victim shaming, and constantly showing bias against the survivor. It shows it's not a safe space to discuss women issues.”
Revathy recalled a 17-year old girl knocking on her doors seeking protection from her predator late at night.
But she refused to divulge more details saying it's up to the victim to do that.
Padmapriya said that more stories of injustice and harassment against women in the industry would come out soon.
“The main highlight of the EC was to not to speak to the media on anything we intend to say. In the beginning, we had demanded three decisions to be taken by the EC, as we have to tell the press. First was regarding the reinstatement of the accused. Second was regarding the reinstatement of the survivor to the association, and third was the reinstatement of Rima Kallingal, Geethu Mohandas and Remya Nambeesan who resigned from the association earlier. But they didn't agree with the first point talking to press," they said....