Kerala Minister for Law, Cinema and Culture AK Balan on Sunday urged the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) to look into the grievances raised by female actors. The Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) has raised concerns over how AMMA, led by superstar Mohanlal, has handled the case involving the kidnapping of an actress.
The Kerala government will step in if a need arises, the Minister said. "Now that the WCC has raised issues, in all fairness, AMMA should look into it and sort out it," said Balan.
The WCC was formed last year by women drawn from various sectors of the film industry to fight for their cause after they found that AMMA was not protecting their interests.
Actor Dileep is an accused in the abduction and assault of a female actor, which took place in February last year. The actor was in jail for 85 days and is now out on bail.
In a lengthy press conference on Saturday, WCC, led by actress Revathy, Parvathy and Padmapriya, alleged that AMMA has not supported the survivor, whereas Dileep has got all the backing. Others who took part included Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, who had earlier quit AMMA to protest against the way the actor's kidnapping issue was handled by AMMA.
The press meet was called after AMMA failed to stand by the survivor and take any concrete action towards improving the safety of women in its fold. Additionally, WCC alleged that AMMA was being evasive about its decision to remove Dileep from the organisation.
On Saturday, Revathy said that while stories of sexual offenders in the Malayalam film industry will come out, their initiative is to cleanse the space where a new young generation of women actors would come. She also reminded the media about the undue influence the executive committee members of AMMA enjoy and that it should make them more responsible.