The Mohanlal-led Association of Malayalam Movie Artists came under fire on Saturday over its handling of a kidnapping case involving an actress.
The Women’s Collective in Cinema (WCC) was formed last year by women from various sectors of the film industry to fight for their cause, after they found that AMMA was not protecting their interests.
Senior actor Dileep is accused in the kidnapping that took place last year. The actor was in jail for 85 days and is now out on bail.
The WCC alleges that AMMA has not supported the victim, whereas Dileep has got all the backing.
Leading actress Revathy on Saturday said that many like her were shocked to hear Mohanlal address them as mere actresses.
“It really hurt us very much... he could have mentioned us by our name. We have now realised that AMMA’s executive committee is taking us for a ride and is not serious about the victim getting justice in the kidnapping case,” said Revathy, adding AMMA should be handled by responsible people.
Trouble stared soon after Mohanlal took over as AMMA president in June. He took back Dileep into the AMMA fold, prompting leading actresses Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas quitting AMMA in protest. Another 14 members announced their decision to quit, citing lack of fairness.
At Saturday’s press event, Revathy, Padmapriya, Parvathy and the three actresses who quit AMMA and a few others were also present.
The decision on Dileep’s status has been left to the next general body meeting of AMMA.
“They [AMMA] use by-laws when they find it useful for their requirements and when it comes to our needs, they cling on by-laws,” said Parvathy.
Revathy said things are not clean in the Malayalam film industry, adding she was shocked to see a 17-year-old girl knocking at her door and complaining about the way she was exploited.
“I will not name her, but things are bad in the industry,” said Revathy.
She said that no one should take actresses lightly.
Beena Paul, who is vice-chairman of the state-run Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, said their intention is not to shame the industry.
“There are so many stories of victimisation... slowly these will come out,” said Paul.