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‘ICC at studios might not be able to help everyone’

It has been almost a year since actress Sri Reddy stripped before the media, protesting against sexual harassment in the firm industry.

Published: 19th April 2019 04:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th April 2019 10:19 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: It has been almost a year since actress Sri Reddy stripped before the media, protesting against sexual harassment in the firm industry. However, there is a lot to do before workplaces in the industry can be declared safe for the thousands of people that depend on it.

A ground check reveals that most major production houses have set up Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) and conducted basic sessions to educate their employees on the matter.For instance, both Suresh Productions and Annapurna Studios have set up ICCs. They cover everyone in the workplace, on the creative side of things and in the administration. However, experts note the scope of these ICCs might be limited. They might not be the answer for so many who are most vulnerable.

“There are 24 craft-based councils in the Telugu film industry, ranging from dubbing artistes, stuntmen, makeup artistes to character artistes. They have no redressal mechanism to deal with sexual harassment complaints. In fact, there are hundreds of women and women who are not even a part of these organisations. The ICCs in studios will not be able to take care of them,” says Vasudha Nagaraj, an advocate.

Industry insiders also note that with ICCs is place, the deterrent for sexual predatory behaviour has set in, however casual sexism remains a concern.“I am often asked when I will marry. It is all in light humour, but it inappropriate. Many also mock us when we try to make a point. They say ‘don’t file #Metoo on us’,” said a member from the industry.

Some activists explain that exploitation of an artiste begins even when he or she reached the studio. “While we speak about ICCs in production houses, we forget that there is no check on the many talent-hunt houses, audition studios, or modelling agencies,” says Devi, an activist



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