Seeman, the Tamil filmmaker-turned politician and chief co-ordinator of the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), sought a ban on the upcoming second season of Amazon Prime Video’s The Family Man, as the series “seeks to intentionally portray the LTTE as terrorists and Thamizhs as vicious people” in a statement issued on Friday on social media.
The statement comes days after the trailer of the second season was released by the series’ lead actor Manoj Bajpayee on Twitter on Wednesday. The trailer opened to backlash and criticism from social media users, for allegedly portraying the Tamil community in a poor light.
The trailer features Samantha Akkineni portraying the role of Raaji, a Sri Lankan Tamil rebel. Social media users began to trend #Familyman2_Against_Tamils within hours of the trailer release. Taking offence to the scene that talks about a coalition between the “rebels and ISI”, many criticised that the scene was derogatory for Tamils as it depicted them as terrorists. Some claimed that the scene tarnished the image of Sri Lankan Tamils and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant outfit that fought for a separate state for Tamils and against the discrimination faced by the community in Sri Lanka. Many social media users called for the series to be banned.
#TheFamilyManOnPrime trailer out now.https://t.co/kwrn1eZVZY@SrikantTFM @PrimeVideoIN @rajndk @BajpayeeManoj @Samanthaprabhu2 @Priyamani6 @sharibhashmi @sumank @Suparn @shreya_dhan13 @hinduja_sunny @DarshanKumaar @SharadK7 @ishahabali pic.twitter.com/9CEqEGJVwY
— manoj bajpayee (@BajpayeeManoj) May 19, 2021
Seeman, in his two-page statement, called the trailer “visuals” as “shocking”.
“It is no coincidence that Chennai has been chosen as the location. The story revolves around an Eezham woman who is portrayed as a militant. The colour of her dress resembles that of an LTTE uniform, with dialogues referring to links between the militant group and the Pakistani ISI. In a situation where 2 lakh Thamizhs in Eezham have been slaughtered by the tyranny of Sinhala chauvinism, the attempt to portray the Thamizhs as terrorists through a web series that stand as the greatest democrats and seeking justice in the international forums through moral and legal struggle is highly condemnable,” he wrote.
Mentioning that the trailer was “created to mislead Tamils”, Seeman said that it was “unacceptable” to release the series that “fails to feature the humanitarianism of the LTTE”.
Seeman urged for the series to be banned as it “fails to portray” the community that is on the “brink of extinction with the greatest wounds and injustices inflicted”. He claimed that films such as Inam and Madras Café that portrayed the community in the wrong manner were banned in Tamil Nadu due to widespread opposition.
India portraying Tamil Tigers linked with ISIS to the world. #Familyman2 Should be banned permanently. We don’t appreciate it and request the distributors to not screen the film in the state.@Samanthaprabhu2 – Shame on you Samantha. #Familyman2_Against_Tamils pic.twitter.com/NS4uMV8zYc
— மோகன் தமிழன் (@mohankeech) May 19, 2021
Seeman also warned that there will be “dire consequences” if the series was released.
The makers of the show did not comment on the issue till Saturday morning.
The Amazon Prime Video’s nine-part series is created and produced by filmmakers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, who have also directed the show along with Suparn S Varma. It is written by Suman Kumar and Raj and DK. The first season of The Family Man premiered in 2019. The second installment will also feature Priyamani, Devadarshini Chetan, Mime Gopi, Sharad Kelkar, N Alagamperumal, Anandsami, Shreya Dhanwanthary, among others. It will stream on Amazon Prime Video from June 4.