At a recent event, producer K Rajan threatened singer and voiceover artiste Chinmayi Sripaada for accusing Vairamuthu of sexual harassment. He was, however, called out for immediately by director-producer Pa Ranjith who was on stage.
Speaking at the audio launch of his upcoming film Para, producer Rajan questioned Chinmayi’s intention behind accusing lyricist Vairamuthu. “The incident took place 15 years ago and she has brought it up now. I don’t understand what the intent here is. This is not good, I have 50 women in my area who can get together and take her down. If you destroy any big celebrity for your cheap publicity, I have some people with me who can destroy you,” he said.
People in the audience and members from the film’s team were seen applauding K Rajan’s offensive speech. The film’s lead actor Samuthirakani and director Keera were among those present on stage.
Producer K Rajan and his open threat to deal with for naming Mr Vairamuthu.
Sidhaikka aal ellam vechurkkaarame. Bayappdnuma? pic.twitter.com/D6MBqU5sRb
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) April 14, 2019
Director Pa Ranjith, who spoke soon after Rajan, said, “We should not look at this as only the accusations of women. Cinema has been abusing women for years and we cannot deny this. When someone like Sri Reddy raises a complaint, instead of accusing her we must investigate it further. Only then will the issue go to the next stage. A woman is not the victim or the offender just because she has raised a complaint. It is wrong and I condemn it,” he said.
Pa Ranjith has been one of the supporters of the MeToo movement since it began last year. He told The News Minute in an interview, “It’s not about where one should talk – one should have the right to speak about the violence one has experienced anywhere. There’s also space to prove whether an allegation is true or not.”
Abusing and slut-shaming women, particularly those who have been vocal supporters of MeToo, is not new to Tamil cinema. Sri Reddy, Chinmayi and several other women in the industry faced backlash and lost projects for calling out big names in MeToo movement. Chinmayi was also among those terminated from the South Indian Cine, Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union by its president Radha Ravi.