Lyricist Vairamuthu no longer part of Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan following allegations of sexual harassment
Lyricist Vairamuthu had denied all allegations of sexual harassment in 2018.
According to a report by The Indian Express, he was dropped from the film due to the allegations of sexual harassment against him. After the allegations became public knowledge in 2018, Ratnam and AR Rahman faced criticism for continuing their association with Vairamuthu.
When an official announcement about the film's cast and crew was made by the makers on 13 December, Vairamuthu's name was absent from the list. The makers are yet to officially confirm that the lyricist has exited the film.
However, two sources who wish to stay anonymous have confirmed to Firstpost that Vairamuthu is not a part of the film's crew.
The association of Mani Ratnam-AR Rahman-Vairamuthu goes back a long way, with the trio being a part of multiple films together, so if Vairamuthu has indeed left the project, this is a victory for the women who spoke up against him.
Singer Chinmayi Sripaada had spoken about Vairamuthu's sexual misconduct all of last year. Apart from her own story, Sripaada corroborated three accounts of Vairamuthu's alleged sexual misconduct and posted them on Twitter without naming the victims. The lyricist had called all allegations against him "false" and had said that he would follow the legal route if the accusers filed a complaint against him.
Ponniyin Selvan has been adapted for screen by Elango Kumaravel and Ratnam with dialogues by Jayamohan. Based on the epic novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy, the film went on floors in Bangkok this month and the schedule is expected to be 40 days long.
The film's cast includes Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Trisha, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Lal, Sarath Kumar, Jayaram, Vikram Prabhu, Ashwin Kakumanu, Kishore and Aishwarya Lekshmi. The music for Ponniyin Selvan has been composed by Rahman while Ravi Varman is the cranking the camera and Sreekar Prasad is the editor.
In August, Rahman had told The Hindu that Ponniyun Selvan had been in the making for the past five years. However, he had mentioned that he was unsure whether Vairamuthu was still on board.
Sripaada took to Twitter and addressed Vairamuthu's exclusion from Ponniyin Selvan. The singer wrote that she was in "debt" of all the women who were brave enough to tell their side of the stories and those who lent their support.
Here are her tweets
Last year, 8 women named Mr Vairamuthu. 3 weeks ago, I got one more from an upcoming singer which I didn’t share. So far I know more than 12 girls who have had similar issues with him.
A man continued to use his power, influence and contacts to lay his hands on young girls. pic.twitter.com/ds9lvFHwQk
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) December 18, 2019
I am in debt to those who have been a voice to all of us, joining in, asked and demanded questions. Public pressure can change things. That’s democracy. No better time to remember that than now. — Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) December 18, 2019
(With inputs from Raja Sekar)
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