Actors Revathy and Padmapriya wrote a letter to leaders of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) on Thursday questioning their stand towards the organisation’s general secretary Edavela Babu’s recent comments on a female actor who is a survivor of sexual assault.
Revathy and Padmapriya, in relation to Babu’s response to the sexual harassment allegations against AMMA’s executive committee member Siddique, have also questioned the leadership on whether the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act will be institutionalised for the safety and protection of women in the workplace.
The actors questioned the leaders of AMMA including, Mohanlal, Mukesh, Jagadish, Aju Varghese, Asif Ali, Baburaj Jacob, Honey Rose, Indrans, Jayasurya, Rachana Narayanankutty, Shwetha Menon, Sudhir Karamana, Tiny Tom and Unni Shivapal.
They stated that Babu’s comments set a dangerous example that the AMMA leadership can disparage a criminal investigation that is sub judice. They also added that despite a 50% women membership in AMMA, the organisation would do nothing to protect, support and encourage them.
“An example that no matter how adverse a scenario A.M.M.A. faces collectively as an organization the entire leadership will stay quiet,” they wrote.
Asked if the survivor of sexual assault would be part of the sequel of Twenty:20, a 2008 film that was part of, Babu said: “Yes, she did a good role. We can’t bring back the dead. We can only make the film with people who are part of AMMA. She’s not part of AMMA. That’s all I can say.”
Calling the resignation of Parvathy similar to the resignation of the survivor in 2018, Revathy and Padmapriya wrote: “Those efforts have been effective in some ways because it created a space for discussions in the public forum that has never taken place before. The only common thread missing every time in this process has been the inability of the A.M.M.A leadership to engage and/or take constructive decisions or actions.”
The two actors also asked the AMMA leadership what their stand was towards Babu’s interviews in the media and the organisation’s vice president Ganesh Kumar’s endorsement. They also demanded to know what action will be taken when members of the AMMA leadership behave in a manner that discredits the organisation and the entire film industry.
Reacting to the letter, filmmaker Geetu Mohandas wrote that even though their revolution may not be duly noted now, it will be remembered by the future generations.