National Award-winning actor and politician Kamal Haasan, who’s currently hosting the Season 3 of Bigg Boss Tamil, was slammed for his toxic conversation with his contestant Saravanan who bragged about groping women in a public bus during his college days. In the following episode, Sarvanan apologised for his inappropriate remarks, claiming that his comment was meant as a cautionary tale for other young men.
In the controversial episode aired last week, Haasan is visibly flippant as he brushes aside the offensive remark, claiming that his contestant is now a reformed, changed man.
Cheers and laughter erupted, but their disturbing ‘boys will be boys’/’men’s locker room exchange, that seems to normalise sexual harassment, hasn’t gone down well with other fans of the show.
Singer Chinmayi Sripaada was quick to slam Haasan and the problematic show as she posted on her Twitter: “Tamil channel aired a man proudly proclaiming he used the Public Bus Transport system to molest/grope women - to cheers from the audience. And this is a joke. To the audience. To the women clapping. To the molester. Damn.”
In the video clip that’s now being circulated widely, Haasan remarked in Tamil that travelling in a crowded bus is a big hassle. While there are peole who are rushing to reach work on time, there are others who just get in to touch inappropriately.” To that, his contestant Saravanan jumped up and raised his hands, proudly proclaiming that he got onto the bus to grope women during his college days.
Haasan has been accused of normalising sexual harrassment, with several fans of Bigg Boss slamming the episode.
Following the backlash, Sarvanan apologised saying: “During my college days, I have made certain mistakes, tiny ones. The intention was to ask viewers to not do these things but it got cut and I couldn’t say it. I am repeating it once again. I did whatever I did when I was young and I want all youngsters to know that it’s wrong. Which is one of the reasons why I am talking about it. Be it before Bigg Boss or after the show, I will still keep telling people not to make the same mistakes I made. There are punishments for these kinds of behaviour. I am sorry if I have hurt anyone’s sentiments.”
It isn’t the first time that Haasan has courted controversy during his Bigg Boss anchoring stint. In the last seaon, Haasan apologised when it was heavily criticised for their insensitive attitude towards mental health.