After several alleged sexual predators in Indian journalism, standup comedy and Bollywood were named on social media by survivors in a fresh #MeToo wave, the movement has set foot in Kollywood now. Senior lyricist Vairamuthu, who has penned several songs in Tamil, has been accused of sexually harassing women. At least two women anonymously said that they were groped and molested by Vairamuthu.
Journalist Sandhya Menon was the first to tweet the screenshot of an anonymous allegation made against the lyricist. In the allegation, the woman says that she had been molested by Vairamuthu when she was 18 years old and had gone to him to work on a project. Vairamuthu had allegedly hugged and kissed the woman in his office in Kodambakkam. Award winning singer Chinmayi, who has been vocal about sexual harassment, retweeted Sandhya's post, opening up a barrage of responses on social media.
On lyricist Vairamuthu pic.twitter.com/c6DwYWOO6C— Sandhya Menon (@TheRestlessQuil) October 8, 2018
She also posted another anonymous allegation against Vairamuthu that she said had been made by her friend who did not wish to be named.
Meanwhile, Sandhya Menon received one more allegation from a woman who said that Vairamuthu had called her to his house in Seethammal Colony, locked the door of the room when she entered and tried to touch her.
While most of Kollywood is maintaining its silence on these accusations, actors Samantha and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar have come in support of the #MeToo movement.
Samantha, who has increasingly been speaking out against gender discrimination, took to Twitter and wrote, “I am so happy that more and more women are finding the strength to say #MeToo. Your bravery is commendable. I am sorry though that some people, even other women themselves will shame and burden you with the question of proof and doubt. Just know that you are saving many little girls with your voice. I support the #MeTooIndia movement.”
She further appreciated singer Chinmayi for her courage to call out Vairamuthu.
Thankyou for being so strong https://t.co/x8u3NxNVlp— Samantha Akkineni (@Samanthaprabhu2) October 9, 2018
Actor Varalaxmi Sarathkumar also tweeted in support of the #MeToo movement, saying that it was "alarming" to hear these stories. She said that she'd stood up for #MeToo last year and that she wanted more women to come forward and speak up.
It’s alarming to hear the number of #metoo stories.They say it’s better late than never.Thank you to all the women that r being so strong to come out with their stories I stood up last year #metoo I urge every woman affected to stand up,we need to fight for our rights #TimesUp pic.twitter.com/5EgWmTTCxL— varu sarathkumar (@varusarath) October 9, 2018
As it was Chinmayi who called out Vairamuthu, several Twitter users questioned her if she will work with the lyricist again. However, the singer replying to a tweet said that she will continue to sing 'Oru Deivam Thantha Poove' (her debut song) and 'Sara Sara Sara' songs penned by him. She also pointed out that these days it was not necessary for the singer to work closely with the lyricist and that the concerned person needn't be around for her to do her job. However, she said that Vairamuthu would ensure that she wouldn't get to sing his songs again.
I *will* sing the songs that I have sung in his lyrics so far.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 8, 2018
Dheivam Thanda Poove, Sara Sara, Mayya are some of my finest songs that display MY singing prowess in some composer’s fantastic work.
Anyway I am sure *HE* will make sure I dont sing anymore. https://t.co/IbGP5iorlD
Meanwhile, Chinmayi also retweeted the screenshot of an allegation against actor Radha Ravi. She also added that her dubbing career would go up in smoke now since the actor headed the dubbing union. In the anonymous allegation, the woman says that Radha Ravi had molested her in his home-office in Alwarpet.
So after the #Vairamuthu accusation, here is an accusation about the most respected #RadhaRavi. @Chinmayi, @varusarath, I hope this again is a well known secret in the industry as well. pic.twitter.com/KFcKLftVd0— Kavya Nakshatra (@KavyaNakshatra) October 9, 2018
Coming in support of Chinmayi, her husband Rahul Ravindran, who is an actor and director said, “I am an actor and a director. And I stand with you, I will continue to work with you. And there’s nothing @Vairamuthu can do to stop that.”