Members of the Producers Council have responded strongly to Vishal’s criticism of the Council for not doing enough to curb piracy, among other issues. Yesterday, producer Suresh Kamatchi released a press statement in which he called Vishal irresponsible, and lambasted him for being over-ambitious and saying he would “take over the Producers Council”.
In a recent interview with Ananda Vikatan, Vishal said that the Producers Council had taken no active measures to curb piracy. “The members of the Producers Council are not ready to have discussions about how to effectively curb piracy, or measures to tackle the problem of satellite rights. But if a producer has some issues with payments with an actor, they are ready to have a meeting, complete with snacks on the table,” said Vishal. He added that the Producers Council needed members who would be unselfish and solve problems with an open mind.
He also indicated that he might participate in the Producers Council elections in January. “Just like how we had to take over the Nadigar Sangam, we might have to participate in the Producers Council election. Every producer is unhappy with the Council’s office bearers. This feeling will culminate in January. Tamil cinema is our mother, and to save her, we have no other option but this,” he said.
Vishal and the Producers Council have had issues in the past, and Vishal has been vocal in his criticism of the Producers Council’s alleged inaction over piracy.
Responding to Vishal’s comments, producer Suresh Kamatchi said that Vishal’s speeches and interviews had become dangerous of late. He accused Vishal of putting the Nadigar Sangam election issue under unnecessary media scrutiny. He also blamed Vishal for the scuffle on the day of the election and said it was a ploy to win votes.
He further questioned Vishal’s ethics for criticising producers, who, he said, were the very foundation of cinema. He said: “You complained that the management of the Nadigar Sangam is not right, and took over the Sangam, now you want to do the same to the Producers Council. What next? Will you say that the Tamil Nadu Government is not functioning properly and try to take over that too? Is that why you are doing charities through your trust, Devi Foundation?”
Pointing out that Vishal had not heeded Rajinikanth’s request to change the name of the Nadigar Sangam to ‘Tamil Nadu Nadigar Sangam’, Kamatchi said that Vishal only tried to curb piracy when his own films were releasing.
“Actors like you quote Rs. 7 crores as remuneration at a time when we used to make Rs. 10 crores just from satellite rights. Now, we hardly make Rs. 2-3 crores from it, yet you wouldn’t lower your fees, nor work on a percentage sharing basis, the way Bollywood actors do. Notwithstanding how your films do in the box-office, you will get more offers. But we producers are left to our own fate,” he said.
The press statement ended with a warning from Kamatchi that the people of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Nadu Government were watching Vishal closely, and that he would lose everything if he continued with his “far-fetched ambitions”.