: Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), an outfit of women in the Malayalam film industry, Saturday came down heavily on actors's body AMMA for allegedly showing "bias" against the young actress who was abducted and molested in her car in Kochi last year.
In an emotionally charged press meet in Kochi, the WCC leaders said that instead of support, the leadership of the Association for Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) had been indulging in "victim shaming" and publically "mocking" at women who had chosen to speak about the matter.
They also alleged that though AMMA is the lone such body in the Malayalam film industry, it was acting against the interests of women and was not a "safe place" to discuss their issues.
A platform of women actors, directors, script writers and singers of the Malayalam industry, the WCC was launched soon after the shocking actress assault incident, to ensure gender justice and safeguard women's rights in the film world.
The WCC members have been on the warpath since the actors' body had decided to reinstate prominent actor Dileep, who was arrested on charges of conspiracy in the actress assault casein February 2017 and later released on bail.
Senior south Indian actress and WCC leader Revathy told reporters that AMMA was continuing its "apathetic" stand to the survivor at a time when the nation and its film industry were extending support to women in the #Me Too campaign and distancing preparators,
Attacking AMMA president and superstar Mohanlal, she said the leadership of the outfit was "unjust".
"I do not think they are just...they (the AMMA leadership) are unjust. They are trying to support the accused and not the survivor," Revathy alleged.
The "Kilukkam" actress said women in the film industry were facing not just sexual harassment, but a lot of issues, ranging from disparity in remuneration to bias in facilities.
Revathi also created a flutter when she mentioned that years ago, a 17-year-old girl had knocked at her doors, pleading to save her during the shooting of a film.
However, she refused to elaborate on the incident.
"It is high time to make the industry a safer place and ensure that such incidents do not occur any more.
I cannot reveal her name right now without her consent," she said when asked about details of the incident.
Award-winning actress Parvathy Thiruvoth expressed anguish and anger over the way the AMMA leadership had dealt with the issues raised by the assault survivor.
"The AMMA executive committee has handled the entire issue with extreme duplicity, in a callous manner and with vested interests.
Instead of standing up for what is right, they have revealed the deep seated misogynistic bias and have closed ranks on us," she alleged.
At a time when celerbrities like Amir Khan and Akshay Kumar were extending support to victims who had shared their harrowing experiences through #Me Too campaign in Bollywood, "here, in Mollywood, a director is offering a chance to the accused in his next movie."
The "Take Off" actress also made it clear that they would not resign from AMMA and would continue to fight from within the organisation till it gets "cleansed".
A small-time actress Archana Padmini, who took part in the press meet, narrated her bad experiences from a production controller during the shooting of a film and the lethargic attitude of FEFKA on her complaint.
Bina Paul Venugopal, deputy director, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, director Anjali Menon, script writer Deedi Damodaran and actresses Rima Kallingal, Ramya Nambeesan and Sajitha Madhathil also attended the press conference.
The abduction and assault of the popular south Indian actress on February 17, 2017 had triggered widespread shock in the Malayalam film industry.
Dileep, the accused actor, was behind bars for over 80 days and is presently out on bail.
Though he was removed from AMMA's primary membership soon after the assault incident, the outfit recently reinstated him in the organisation, triggering widespread protests.
The actress, who was assaulted, had resigned with three others too putting in their papers in solidarity with her.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)