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800 Biopic Row: Sarathkumar Asks People Not to Block Artists’ Enthusiasm

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In the wake of massive public backlash against the upcoming biopic of Muttiah Muralitharan 800, actor-turned-politician R Sarathkumar, on Saturday, issued a statement condemning those opposing the movie.

In his statement, Sarathkumar wrote that it is disappointing when the arts industry has to face challenges caused due to political interferences. 

“The media and the entertainment industry contributes Rs 93,000 crore to the nation’s income. Due to Covid-19, all industries are affected by economic downturn. In this situation, it is not right to block artists’ enthusiasm in producing new content in order to progress by overcoming several challenges. These incidents are not going to help the country’s growth or the economic growth,” he wrote. 

On a similar note, the actor’s wife and actor Radhika Sarathkumar, too, had tweeted in support of the film. She wrote, “#muthaiyamuralitharan biopic &asking @VijaySethuOffl not to act. Do these people have no work? Why not ask @SunRisers why he is the head coach, team belongs to a Tamilian with political affiliations?VSP is an actor, and do not curb an actor. VSP&cricket both don’t warrant nonsense.”

Filmmaker Seenu Ramasamy, who has worked with Sethupathi on various films like, Dharmadurai and Thenmerku Paruvakaatru, on Saturday, had written on Twitter, that he is eager to know what would be Sethupathi’s decision. “There is no compulsion. I am also waiting for Vijay Sethupathi’s decision after he realises that the public’s opinion, which has been made with democratic thinking without worrying about any political questions, is equivalent to the God’s opinion,” he wrote.

After the release of the first-look motion poster of the film, people took to social media to express their backlash against the movie. Along with the public, popular figures from the cinema and political industry including, Bharathiraja, Cheran, lyricist Thamarai, and Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur C Raju, expressed their dissent to the making of the film and requested Sethupathi to avoid acting in it.

The heavy backlash comes in response to Muralaitharan’s affiliations with Rajapaksa’s government. On Friday, Muralitharan responded to the controversy and said that his comments were distorted by the public. In his statement, he had shared the hardships he had gone through during his childhood and his desire for peace as an ordinary man.

“Somehow this movie has got politicised and people are against it,” Muralitharan said in his statement. He added, “I allowed the movie as I realised that my achievements were not my own and that several, including, my parents, teachers, coaches, co-players were behind my achievements and I wanted them to be recognised.”

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