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Arvind Swamy on #MeToo: “We Can’t Punish People Who Make Allegations”

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Arvind Swamy At The Naragasooran Press Meet
Arvind Swami, Sundeep Kishan, Aathmika At The Naragasooran Press Meet

Actor Arvind Swami said at an event recently that we can’t punish people who have made #MeToo allegations, even though we don’t have more information about the allegations. He said not maybe many from the Tamil film industry have spoken in support of the movement.

“If you’re not going to get involved in #MeToo because you believe it’s a private accusation, and you’re not privy to what really happened, then you also can’t punish the person who has made the statement. That is not acceptable. It has to go both ways,” he said at an India Today event.

He recently acted in Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, a film with a big cast including Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh, Simbu, Vijay Sethupathi, and others. Music was by Rahman and lyrics by Vairamuthu. The film released in September, before Vairamuthu was accused of alleged sexual harassment by women in the industry.

When asked what he thought of the allegations against Vairamuthu, and how Chinmayi and many other women have lost work for making these allegations, he said it was true that many not have spoken in support of the #MeToo movement. He does support it, but said he could not comment on specific accusations without more information.

“If you’re going to be specific and make an accusation against an individual, man or woman, then I need to have more information before I accuse the person of having done something. Until then, it is somebody else’s hurt or opinion. It’s a private complaint. But they shouldn’t be punished for it, it’s illogical,” he said.

He also said an actor need not always enter politics, but he will speak about issues when there is a need, “An actor’s job is to act, why do you expect him to be in politics?… I do lend support when I think I need to express myself. Not that it’s generally political, it could be against a policy or anything that is current.”

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