Malayalam actor Swasika draws flak for her statements #MeToo, Women in Cinema collective
"I don't think anyone will be forcefully raped in this industry. I don't think we need organisations like WCC," the actor said in a recent interaction with a media outlet.
Published: 09th December 2022 06:29 PM | Last Updated: 09th December 2022 09:19 PM | A+A A-
Actor Swasika, recently seen in Chathuram, has been drawing flak for her statement on WCC, #MeToo, pay parity, and safety concerns in the Malayalam film industry. Several people including survivors have condemned her comments on social media.
In a recent interaction with a media outlet, Swasika was asked about her view on the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC). "I don't think we need organisations like WCC in the industry," she said.
WCC was formed by female artists and technicians from the Malayalam film industry, including actors Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rima Kallingal, Geethu Mohandas, and editor Bina Paul, in the aftermath of the 2017 female actor abduction and sexual assault incident.
Stating that the film industry is safe, Swasika said, "I don't think anyone will be forcefully raped in this industry. I don't think we need organisations like WCC. If something happens, I will react immediately and come off. We should teach women to say no. And why would they go to WCC? They can inform the police, Vanitha Commission or parents."
And some people are talking against such an industry that gives you so much safety, she added.
She further questioned if there will be any immediate remedy if someone reports to WCC. "I think women should react immediately when something goes wrong. Instead, coming back with a complaint after 3 or 4 years in the name of #MeToo does not make sense," she said.
"If something untold happens to you in the morning, you should register a complaint that evening itself. Not after finishing the film and pocketing your remuneration," Swasika said. Just say no to the film with the confidence that you will get a bigger opportunity, the actor added.
Girls should have courage to react, she said. "If we have the courage to say no, no one is going to force us to do something against our will. A room you locked cannot be opened without you unlocking it... If someone comes in the middle of the night and knocks on your door, why should you even open it? Why should we give them a space to drink and have a conversation?" she remarked.
While actors like Aparna Balamurali and Aishwarya Lekshmi have been vocal about their views on pay parity in the industry, Swasika said that producers only pay a huge amount to stars who lead the film and are crowd-pullers. She added that it is unfair to ask for more pay when the actor does not play a pivotal role.
Following this, many social media users spoke in support of WCC and highlighted their continuous contribution to making this industry a better place for women. It may be noted that the Kerala High Court ordered film production houses in the Malayalam industry to form an internal complaints committee (ICC) as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) PoSH Act, 2013.
The Kerala HC passed an order following the PIL filed by the WCC, demanding the establishment of a grievance redressal cell in the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) and other film bodies in the industry.
WCC members Parvathy, Rima and a few other well-wishers shared a picture of the Kerala HC order. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Anna Ben, who is shooting for her upcoming film Anchu Centum Seleenayum, revealed that the makers formed an Internal Complaint Cell, and she is heading it as a presiding officer. She also wrote, "WCC making it safe at our workplace."
(With online desk inputs)
(The story originally appeared on cinemaexpress.com)