KOCHI: Two days after actor Parvathy Thiruvothu resigned from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), actors Revathy and Padmapriya slammed the leadership of the association, saying "no matter how adverse a scenario AMMA faces collectively as an organisation, the entire leadership will stay quiet".
In a strongly worded two-page statement, the actors criticised AMMA general secretary Edevela Babu's interviews with the media, which triggered Parvathy's resignation. In an interview to a local news channel early this week, Babu, when asked if the female actor, who was the victim in the assault-and-rape case, will have a role in the movie being produced by AMMA, said she was not part of the association and "we cannot bring back the dead".
The statement by Revathy and Padmapriya said Babu's interview in the media aimed to "alienate and ridicule" the women members, who constitute 50 per cent of the Malayalam film industry.
"Like in the past, the recent interviews by the general secretary of AMMA once again sets a dangerous example. An example that, some of the members in the AMMA leadership can use their position to disparage a criminal investigation that is sub judice. An example that, as the only organisation in the film industry with close to 50 per cent women members, there will be no measures taken to protect, support and encourage them. Instead, it appears that all efforts will be made to alienate and ridicule them and their issues in public. An example that, no matter how adverse a scenario AMMA faces collectively as an organization, the entire leadership will stay quiet," it said.
The actors also asked three questions to the leadership of AMMA:
1. What is their stand as individuals and as part of AMMA leadership towards Edavela Babu’s interviews in the media over the last few days and the response to the same by Vice President Ganesh Kumar.
2. What will be the action taken when some members of the leadership behave in a fashion that discredits and devalues AMMA and the film industry as a whole?
3. In light of the general secretary's response in the interview to the sexual harassment allegations against AMMA’s executive committee member Siddique, has the leadership implemented the POSH Act (Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) that prevents and protects harassment against women in their workplace?
Revathy and Padmapriya said the resignation tendered by their colleague Parvathy from AMMA had taken them back to a journey that began in 2018 with the actor-assault survivor's resignation.
"A journey embarked upon with a lot of pain but also with the hope of creating constructive awareness of issues of women as actors in the film industry. Those efforts have been effective in some ways because it created a space for discussions in the public forum that has never taken place before. The only common thread missing every time in this process has been the unwillingness of the AMMA leadership to engage and/or take constructive decisions or actions," they said.
The letter was marked to all the AMMA leadership members viz., Mohanlal, K.B. Ganeshkumar, Mukesh, Edavela Babu, Siddique, Jagadish, Aju Varghese, Asif Ali, Baburaj Jacob, Honey Rose, Indrans, Jayasurya, Rachana Narayanankutty, Shwetha Menon, Sudhir Karamana, Tiny Tom and Unni Shivapal.