The presence of lyricist Vairamuthu, who faced severe sexual charges under the #MeToo movement, at the unveiling of legendary filmmaker K Balachander’s statue at the new office of Kamal Haasan’s Raaj Kamal Films International has kicked up a storm on the internet.
The event saw the presence of top guns of Tamil movie industry, including Kamal, superstar Rajinikanth, Mani Ratnam, Nasser, Santhana Bharathi, Ramesh Arvind and Gnanasambandam among others. Many social media users expressed their displeasure over the presence of Vairamuthu among the guests and said it would send wrong signal.
Singer Chinmayi Sripaada, who spearheaded the #MeToo movement, said, “Molesters in the public space always know how to work their image. Display of strength, support, especially in public platforms. Some would have prominent politicians. Laughing and in back-slapping terms. This imagery is what makes perceive fear. It had me fearful for years.”
She said further: “Survivors within ‘simpler’ power hierarchies such as family setups perceive the same fear when they see their assaulter/molester being close to their parents. Offenders work hard on maintaining this imagery in a manner to say ‘See who I am close to. No one will believe you’.”
She added: “How is this show of strength supposed to instill any confidence for more girls to file complaints or feel safe in projects this man is involved in? And when they speak of women’s safety, should they be taken seriously? Ennamo.”
A Twitter user called Karthik posted: “Literally the who’s who of Tamil film industry – Kamal Hassan, Rajinikanth, Mani Ratnam etc. This is irresponsible, incredibly demeaning and demotivating, sends a horrendously poor signal about normalizing :(”