He admitted that the language he had used towards one of the female journalists present was derogatory. He said that he did not mean to hurt anybody personally and apologised for his statements.
On Wednesday, at the press meet organised by Oruthee’s team, Vinayakan had expressed his ignorance about the #MeToo movement and said, “What is MeToo? I don’t know! Is groping a woman called MeToo? Let me ask: if I want to have sex with a woman, what should I do?” He had also pointed to a woman journalist in the crowd and said, “If I want to have sex with that woman, I will ask her.”
The actor was criticised by the public, politicians, and members of the film industry for his remarks.
Meanwhile, several people on social media questioned his co-actor Navya Nair’s silence regarding the incident. Nair was also present at the press meet.
On Sunday, she finally addressed the media and spoke about the incident. Noting that she did not expect such a thing to happen, Nair said, “Each individual has their way of reacting to an issue. I was unable to react at that point. Now, he has apologised for what he had said. At that time, I had difficulty in expressing my reactions, but I tried to take away the mic from him several times. I was unable to do anything beyond that.”
When reporters continued to prod her on why she did not react, Nair told them that she is ready to seek an apology for everything that happened that day if that would solve the issue. “What he did was wrong and even you (media persons) could have reacted. We were gathered there for the promotion of Oruthee. But unfortunately, the questions and answers went to another level, which I did not expect,” she added.
Nair also noted that even though a man had made such remarks, it was only the woman who was being questioned again. “There were many men present there, but you all are only questioning me. I am coming back to cinema after ten years, so please let me celebrate that. Don’t make it difficult for me with more questions.”
Earlier, reacting to Vinayakan’s remarks, filmmaker Kunjila Mascillamani too had mentioned that this issue should be discussed by everyone and not just the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) or even only women in the community. She said that opinions should also come from men, who are a predominant part of the film industry.