Malayalam actor and MP Innocent receives flak over 'bad women' comment
Actor and Lok Sabha member Innocent on Wednesday, 5 July, said the Malayalam film industry is "clean" of the casting couch. But a distasteful remark made by him regarding "bad women" created a furore among the newly floated Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC).
Innocent spoke about it while answering a question at a press conference held in Thrissur on Wednesday to deny media reports that he is quitting as the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).
"The Malayalam film industry is clean now and no such thing as casting couch exists in the industry... It is not like the yesteryear. The situation today is such that if there is any bad behaviour towards any women, the media will know immediately," he said, adding: "But if the woman is bad, maybe they will go to bed".
Following this remark, the WCC slammed it through their Facebook page.
"Even though we thank Innocent for the nice words he spoke about WCC, we are forced to strongly disagree with his remark that casting couches no longer exist here. Very recently only, our own members Parvathy and Lakshmi Rai have all spoken loudly on this topic. We want the newly appointed Justice Hema Commission to study the issues of women in the film industry to look into this aspect also," read the post.
The WCC was formed last month by the women working in the various departments of the Malayalam film industry. It is led by actress Manju Warrier.
Bindu Krishna, state president of the Mahila Congress — the women's wing of the Congress party — said Innocent's statement is a shame and an insult to Kerala.
"Through this statement, he has proved that he does not have any respect and his position as AMMA president is not tenable. AMMA should be disbanded. For that, all those who have self respect, should come forward," said Krishna.
Innocent has been the president of AMMA for over a decade now. However, things went for a toss ever since last week's AMMA annual general body meeting and press meet, where he feigned ignorance regarding the controversial actress kidnap case. The AMMA also came under fire for its apathy in this case and the open support and protection it extended to Dileep.
Innocent put up a weak defence to the questions about the deliberations at the GBM regarding the actress kidnap case, and came under severe attack from various quarters.
This is the first time in his long tenure as AMMA president that he has come under attack. Innocent is also a CPI-M backed Lok Sabha member from Chalakkudy constituency in Thrissur district.
(With inputs from agencies)