Actor Marimuthu justifies alleged sexual harassment by Vairamuthu, with homophobia

Marimuthu, who recently acted in ‘Pariyerum Perumal’, said that there was nothing wrong with Vairamuthu calling women to his room, since he was a man and had hormones.
Actor Marimuthu justifies alleged sexual harassment by Vairamuthu, with homophobia
Actor Marimuthu justifies alleged sexual harassment by Vairamuthu, with homophobia
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Actor and director Marimuthu, who has played supporting roles in a number of films and was recently seen in Pariyerum Perumal, has justified sexual harassment as he spoke up in favour of lyricist Vairamuthu against #MeToo allegations. In addition, he used homophobia as a defence of Vairamuthu. Marimuthu has been acquainted with Vairamuthu since his early days in the Tamil film industry.

And speaking on the #MeToo movement, Marimuthu did not deny the allegations against Vairamuthu in an interview. Instead, he bizarrely chose to ask what was wrong with such behaviour.

“It would have been humiliating if he’d been accused of stealing from a jewellery shop. He’s been accused of calling a woman to his room. So what? He is a man, isn’t he? What’s wrong in this, I’m asking. Let him call. If you wish to, you go. Otherwise you speak to the newspaper, do so. He’s a man, right? He has hormones. He’ll feel it’d be nice to hug a woman and sleep, won’t he? That’s why he’s called. That woman has now said this publicly. Kavignar (poet) has to bear with it.”

Saying that he isn’t interested in analysing this and that people would forget about it in three weeks, Marimuthu went on to add some homophobia to his misogyny, “I won’t say that this is an insult to Vairamuthu. What is there? It’d have been wrong only if he had called a man to his room.”

When the slightly bewildered and amused interviewer probed further, Marimuthu compared the allegations to a road accident, “If you’re driving a car and apply sudden brakes because a dog crossed the road, and the bike behind you crashes into the car, you’ll say sorry to the bike and the dog and keep going. This is like that only.”

Marimuthu went on to assert that Vairamuthu’s fame wouldn’t be affected because of the allegations since the people of Tamil Nadu know what his achievements are. He then said the allegations may be true or false, the woman may have lied about it or told the truth and that “time will tell.”

Marimuthu also added that one could get a good name by planting a tree in front of a school or doing some other social service even if one had committed six murders.

“Vairamuthu is the pride of Tamil Nadu, the pride of Tamilians. Just because Chinmayi accuses him of sexual harassment, dirt won’t stick to his shirt for one second. Never. Will we let that happen?” he said.

When the interviewer persisted and asked him about sexual harassment allegations in the film industry, Marimuthu equated it with consensual sexual acts and relationships, and asked if people in other industries weren’t sleeping together in hotel rooms or kissing each other. Marimuthu’s comments have drawn flak from several people, including film critics and actor Siddharth. 

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This isn’t for the first time that someone from the Tamil film industry has made ignorant and insensitive statements about the #MeToo allegations.

Actor Radha Ravi, against whom sexual harassment allegations have been made anonymously, said at an event, “Someone told me that I’ve been mentioned. I said you have to be either Godse or Gandhi in your lifetime. Your name has to keep coming up. So I asked him what has been said, that I raped someone? What has been said? He said no, nothing big about it. And I said, ‘Cha, what an insult!’ She came, saw and left, is it? Is that a complaint against me?”

Those standing behind Radha Ravi, including the woman anchor, can be seen giggling at his remarks trivialising sexual harassment and those who’d come out in support of women who were speaking up. 


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