A press statement signed by over 100 artistes working in the Malayalam film industry declared solidarity with the rape survivor and the members of Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).
In the statement, the artistes condemned AMMA for reinstating expelled actor Dileep (an accused in the abduction and rape case of an actress) without consulting the majority of members. “Our friend is not a victim; she is a brave woman who survived brutal physical, sexual and mental harassment. We declare our solidarity with her and her colleagues who resigned from AMMA in protest of the organisation’s utmost insensitive and offensive treatment of the issue,” said the statement.
The statement, released on the Facebook account of a production banner called Collective Phase One, bears signatures of filmmakers such as Rajeev Ravi, Kamal KM, Dr Biju, Sudevan, Sanal Kumar, Sasidharan, Zakhariya and Dileesh Pothan; it also has signatures of veteran film technicians such as cinematographer Venu, editor Bina Paul, and Madhu Neelakantan. Among the actors who have signed the document are Vinayakan, Sajitha Madathil, Parvathy, Revathy and Padmapriya. Conspicuous by their absence are the signatures of the leading male actors in Malayalam; barring Prithviraj none of them have even said anything on the issue yet.
In the statement, the artistes also ask the elected representatives in AMMA’s leadership – actors Mukesh, Innocent and Ganesh Kumar – to step down from their posts if they concede to the organisation’s decision to reinstate Dileep.
On Friday, June 29, Network Of Women Journalists in India had also released a similar statement in support of the WCC members and the rape survivor.
Men Are Heroes Only On Screen, In Real Life, They Are Buffoons: Rajeev Ravi
In an interview to Dool News on Saturday, director Rajeev Ravi termed film unions an elite club constituted to protect the vested interests of the big guns in the industry. “The industry’s response to the attack on a colleague is largely disappointing. Among the youngsters (male), only Prithviraj dared to speak up. I wish more members of the younger generation had that guts… They should speak up, express their dissent at least through social media. It is the need of the hour,” he said.
“The men (in the industry), young and old, are just men. They lack the courage or smartness that our women show. Men are heroes just on the screen. In real life, they are timid buffoons whose outlook on matters such as women is appalling,” said Ravi. He also condemned the response of CPI-M, the ruling party of the state, to the whole issue. In a weakly-worded press statement, the party urged AMMA to settle the issue at the earliest, and declined to talk about Mukesh, Ganesh or Innocent who are party legislators.