Malayalam actor Sreenivasan says not aware of casting couch; 'Molestation, abuse cases not the only societal issues'
Malayalam actor Sreenivasan said that he is not aware of cases of sexual exploitation of female actors, adding that those who have been victims should provide 'evidence'. He has been part of this film industry for 40 years.
At a press meet in Ernakulam, the actor was quoted by Times of India saying, "It might be happening. It happens in society as well. Those who suggest that women face exploitation need to make the incident public so that the world knows about it. We all know that injustice takes place in society. Teachers have to sow the seeds of goodness in children's minds. Our education system has failed to develop our character. More importantly, 'Amma' has to be good for her children to be good." Later, he clarified that the 'Amma' he referenced was not the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists.
He also said that molestation and abuse cases are not the only issues which 'haunt' the society, adding that people do several things to make money, such as add chemicals to food.
This comment comes days after Innocent, actor, Lok Sabha member and president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) received flak for his remark about "bad women". "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".
The Women's Collective in Cinema, headed by actress Manju Warrier, criticised him for this in their Facebook post which read, "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."
The AMMA has also been under fire for feigning ignorance about the abduction and assault case of an actress from the Malayalam film industry, as well as openly protecting Dileep, who has been questioned regarding his suspected involvement in it.