Malayalam actress Gayathri Suresh says she was asked for sexual favours by producers in the Malayalam film industry in exchange for work several times and that it happens often to actresses.
In an interview with Red FM, Gayathri Suresh and Dhruvan, who recently acted in Children’s Park, were asked if they have had to make compromises for a role in any film. Dhruvan said no, but Gayathri said she has been asked for sexual favours several times.
“I’ve got text messages from producers who directly ask me ‘Are you ready for…?’ I usually don’t reply to such messages,” she said. When Dhruvan said that they should have perhaps been given a befitting reply, Gayathri said this was common, and the perpetrators should understand if she wanted to avoid them. “Avoiding such messages is the best response I can give,” she said.
Gayathri started her career with Jamna Pyari in 2015 and has since acted in Karinkunnam 6’s, Oru Mexican Aparatha and Varnyathil Aashanka. She has worked with leading directors and producers in Malayalam cinema, and acted with Kunchacko Boban, Tovino Thomas, Manju Warrier, Anson Paul and others. She has the Tamil film 4G, co-starring GV Prakash, and Telugu films Lover and Hero Heroine under production. She said the casting couch was common in the Malayalam film industry, and that she has so far not faced it in other industries.
Many from the Malayalam cinema, including Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rima Kalingal and Sajitha Madathil, have been supporting women coming out with their experiences of sexual harassment on the sets of films. They are part of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), which also helps file cases against the alleged perpetrators and has pushed for an Internal Complaints Committee in the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).
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