The action on Chinmayi seems a punishment for speaking out on #MeToo.

Chinmayi takes on Radha Ravi says shes lifetime member of dubbing union
Flix MeToo Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 16:16

A week after singer Chinmayi was expelled from the South Indian Cine, Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union, she has clarified on allegations that she had not paid her membership fee to the body.

In a 19-minute video published on her YouTube page, Chinmayi said that she had, in fact, paid a lifetime membership fee of Rs 5,000, in excess of the prescribed amount.

“Their telling me that my membership automatically expired because I did not pay the subscription fee is false. Because I have paid the lifetime membership fee,” she says.

“In 2016, February 11, I have a bank transfer that has gone out to the dubbing union for the payment of a lifetime membership fee. It is pegged at Rs 2,500 in the by-law book which is in Tamil. But they asked me to pay Rs 5,000 and I paid it. They have not given me a receipt for it. One week later, they have also released a payment for a film that I had dubbed for, after reducing 10%.”

Chinmayi's bank transfer details: Dubbing Union fee paid on February 11, 2016 and payment received by Chinmayi from Dubbing Union on February 18, 2016.

Chinmayi admits that neither the union nor she followed up to get a receipt for the payment.

As part of the MeToo movement, Chinmayi had lent her support to women who had spoken out against alleged harassment by veteran actor Radha Ravi who heads the union. Chinmayi had also accused Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu of sexual misconduct, leading to much debate in the Tamil film industry. The singer had come under huge pressure and many people within and outside the industry targeted her. Her termination from the dubbing union comes close on the heels of women in the industry speaking up, leaving no doubts that this was the cost to pay.

In the video, Chinmayi adds that in March this year, the dubbing union had released a list of 97 members, including her, who would not be eligible to vote in the General Body elections as they had not paid the membership fee of Rs 180. However, as she points out, it is only her membership that has been cancelled; the fate of the 96 others is still undecided.

Soon after she announced on Twitter that her membership had been axed by the dubbing union, Radha Ravi told TNM that the singer was only allowed to continue dubbing because she was popular. This did not, however, stop the union from continuing to take their cut.

"Chinmayi was not allowed to vote this time during the dubbing union elections because she is not a member of the union. Judge Vasuki, who oversaw the elections, told us she cannot be a member since she has not been paying her membership fee. I don’t know how things were run two years ago, I've just come to power. For the past two years, she had been exempted and allowed to dub only because she's a well-known artiste,” Radha Ravi had said.

Further explaining that the the dubbing union takes a 10% cut off an artiste’s salary, Chinmayi was reportedly informed that while half of it goes to the dubbing in-charge-cum-PRO who manages the artistes, the other half goes to the dubbing union welfare fund. The last film that Chinmayi dubbed for was the superhit 96 which released in October this year.

Members of the dubbing union, who had questioned the 10% cut were promptly shown the door by Radha Ravi, who many have alleged runs the union like a mafia.

Read: Radha Ravi runs south dubbing union like a mafia, allege ousted members

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