Actors Nimisha Sajayan, Srinda Ashab and Saniya Iyappan have joined the new anti-cyber abuse campaign #RefuseTheAbuse, spearheaded by Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).
The campaign aims to make cyber spaces safe and free of abuse and harassments. Many Malayalam actors have come forward and joined the campaign.
In a video posted by WCC and actor Geetu Mohandas, one of the founding members of WCC, Nimisha called out those who write hate comments on other’s posts. “Your pleasure or time pass may be causing a lot of mental distress to the person at the other end. It’s possible they have the same problems in life as you,” she said.
Saniya pointed out that most of the hateful comments she receives is about her choice of clothes. She asked, “Isn’t it my choice to wear what I want?”
“My way of doing things, my preferences-these are my own. I have not appointed anyone to make judgements on this,” Srinda said.
The #RefuseTheAbuse campaign was inaugurated with a video of actor Anna Ben, in which she shared her experience of cyber-bullying. She spoke about how she had faced trolls but later discovered that the majority of hate comments came from fake accounts. “What we need to remember is that these activities reflect on their insecurities and fears and character and not on us or the victim,” she said.
“WCC seeks to highlight the cultural aspect of cyber abuse as it has a long-standing impact on society. Through the campaign WCC seeks to urge all stakeholders of the film industry and society at large to find solutions to this growing menace and exhorts every individual to refuse allowing the abuse to happen. WCC believes it is time to speak up and are gathering voices who want to say their piece,” WCC had said in a statement on October 6.
WCC was conceived after the arrest of actor Dileep in 2017 for allegedly conspiring the abduction and assault of a popular Malayalam actor. Within weeks after the assault, women artists from Malayalam film industry, including Rima Kallingal, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Geetu Mohandas, Padmapriya Janakiraman, Revathi, director Anjali Menon, editor Beena Paul and many others came in support of the survivor and formed the collective.