Prithviraj plays the titular role in 'Kaduva'
Prithviraj plays the titular role in 'Kaduva' Image Credit: Supplied

South Indian actor and producer Prithviraj, who was slammed for his insensitive dialogue from his latest Eid release ‘Kaduva’, has apologised for his hurtful conduct on the big screen.

In one of the dialogues from director Shaji Kailas’ ‘Kaduva’, Prithviraj’s character claims differently-able children are the result of their parents’ past sins and crimes. He uttered those words to get back at his on-screen opponent, played by Vivek Oberoi who’s a parent to a child with disability.

“Sorry. It was a mistake. We acknowledge and accept it,” said Prithviraj in his Instagram reels and Twitter, while sharing the lengthy apology from his director Shaji Kailas. The scene, which stirred controversy, has been deleted from ‘Kaduva’, which is now playing in the UAE cinemas, claimed the team behind 'Kaduva'.

Prithviraj remains one of Malayalam cinema’s most progressive and woke actors of his generation. In a recent interview with Gulf News, he said that his testosterone-charged ‘Kaduva’ is a tale of two men whose egos are gigantic, but his film isn’t misogynistic towards its female characters. In the past, several Malayalam films about those wealthy ‘achayans’ -- privileged rubber estate owners from Kerala -- were blasted for normalising sexist and toxic behaviour.

However, this parent-shaming dialogue still escaped their watchful eye. Director Kailas took full responsibility for the error in judgment.

“Apologies for the hurtful reference to the parents of differently-abled children in my film ‘Kaduva’ ... The only request is to forgive the human error. The truth is that neither the screenwriter Jinu while writing such a dialogue, nor the hero Prithviraj while preparing the scene, nor I thought of other aspects of it. The only intention behind it was to convince him and the audience of the cruelty of the villain’s actions,” said Kailas.

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Prithviraj in 'Kaduva' Image Credit: Supplied

The questionable dialogue was inserted to underling Prithviraj’s character flaws.

“Those words that came from Prithviraj’s character in this movie were also human. A perfectly ordinary man, oblivious to wrongs or their emotional implications, begs to see them as mere words uttered in a momentary fit of emotion. This does not mean that children with disabilities suffer as a result of the actions of their parents. There is never such a thing, even in our remotest thoughts,” added Kailas.

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He also apologised for hurting the sentiments of those parents who have differently-abled children.

“I am a father who loves his children dearly. Even when they fall, I am pained. Then I can understand the mental state of parents of differently-abled children without anyone else telling me. The parents’ notes showed that the words in the movie were hurt. Please understand that the most precious thing in the world is your children and you live for them... Sorry...Once again, I apologise knowing that these words will not solve your emotional distress,” he concluded.

Trouble began when Parivaar, an association of parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, had moved the State Commission for Persons with Disabilities. According to PTI, the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has issued notices to filmmaker Kailas and producers Supriya Menon and Listin Stephen seeking an explanation for the derogatory dialogues.

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Vivek Oberoi's child is differently-abled in his new film 'Kaduva' Image Credit: Supplied