T Rajendar says that many of the people in influential positions within the film industry are ‘good’. “The bad ones, who ask favours from women for roles, are the ones who are spoiling the industry’s name. The Nadigar Sangam must look into the claims of the women who have come forward, and do something to clear the reputation of our industry.”
He was referring to Sri Reddy, a Telugu actress, who, in recent times has named many popular actors and directors as part of her #TamilLeaks. Reddy claims that these men sexually exploited her in exchange for work.
Rajendar maintains that such behavior was not acceptable when he debuted as director. “Talent was respected those days. Only talent and guts could get one forward. That is why people like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, even myself could come up in the industry. Else, how could we have made it?” (It might be worthwhile to point out that women artistes are the ones who face most exploitation, where men in power seek sexual favours in exchange for work.)
Success stories are plenty in the film industry, Rajendar says. “However, a portion of them may have had breakthroughs because of people who asked something in return. We can never understand what forces them to do this, they are the victims. We have to go behind the ones in power. We should make examples out of them.”
Such a scenario might find its way into Rajendar’s next. “I want to do something to change the set-up. Maybe through my next movie,” he added.
At present, Rajendar is hard at work on his Indraya Kaadhal Da. Starring Namitha as a ‘lady don’, the film is a take on new-age relationships. The project was launched last week, and is scheduled to go on floors soon. As is his way, Rajendar handles many departments in the project. He also produces it through his Simbu Cine Arts. Silambarasan is expected to make a special appearance in the film.