Social media outrage following the poster release of the Muttiah Muralitharan biopic, 800, has finally led to Vijay Sethupathi walking out of the movie.
With clips from an interview of Muralitharan doing the rounds, detractors, who allege that the cricketer's stand isn't sympathetic to Eelam Tamils, have been urging Vijay Sethupathi to step away from the project. Outrage on social media has also come from film personalities like Bharathiraja, Ameer, Thamarai, and Cheran.
Now, the actor's PR person has confirmed to The New Indian Express that he has indeed stepped away from the biopic.
Sethupathi had earlier taken to Twitter to share a statement of Muttiah Muralitharan, in which the Sri Lankan cricket legend sympathised with the actor for being the target of social media criticism and requested that he back out.
Sethupathi had shared the note with the caption 'Thank you and goodbye'. The note read:
I am issuing this statement after controversy erupted by a few people in Tamil Nadu based on my biopic - 800.
I know that a few have been imposing pressure on actor Vijay Sethupathi to withdraw himself from the movie due to the wrong notions surrounding me. So, I don't want a great artiste from Tamil Nadu suffering because of me. I don't want any other unnecessary hurdles in his career and due to this I request him to withdraw himself from this movie.
Every time I face hurdles, I don't get tired. I battle it out, win it and that is why I have reached this stage in my life. This movie will be an inspiration for future generations to come and for young cricketers and will give them encouragement and will power. It was the reason why I accepted the making of this biopic. I am sure that the creators of this movie will make it reach such people despite the hurdles. Producers have assured that further information regarding this will be announced soon. I will stand by their efforts.*
நன்றி.. வணக்கம் pic.twitter.com/PMCPBDEgAC— VijaySethupathi (@VijaySethuOffl) October 19, 2020
Hashtags like #ShameOnVijaySethupati trended on Twitter after the Super Deluxe actor made the announcement to play the cricketer in the film.
For now, it is unclear who will be replacing Sethupathi in this film.
MS Sripathy has been announced as the director of the film while Sam CS has been roped in as the composer and RD Rajasekhar as the cinematographer.
The biopic will be produced by Dar Motion Pictures and Movie Train Motion Pictures.
In his statement, Muralitharan expressed confidence that the project will go on to be finished, despite this casting change.