Mohanlal, the newly elected President of AMMA, met the media at the Press Club in Kochi on Monday.
The press meet comes after AMMA (Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes) was slammed for reinstating rape accused Dileep by the Women in Cinema Collective, members from the Malayalam and Kannada film industries, politicians, mediapersons and others. The AMMA executive council meeting, however, is yet to be held, contrary to media reports. Mohanlal announced that AMMA would hold a meeting with members of the WCC and that the question of Dileep coming back to AMMA does not rise as the actor had opted out himself.
After a brief introduction on why the press meet was called, Mohanlal, the newly elected president of AMMA said that he was meeting the media now because he had gone abroad soon after the AMMA meeting.
"I believe that AMMA the organisation needs to be changed. A bye-law that was written 25 years ago, that needs to be changed. Women have to be given more prominence in the industry," he said.
To a question on whether the executive council meeting was held, Mohanlal said that only an informal meeting had taken place thus far.
Responding to when the emergency executive council meeting asked for by the WCC would be held, Mohanlal said, "WCC has written to us. We will see when we can meet them after having an executive meeting."
Mohanlal defended the decision to take back Dileep by resorting to citing the rulebook. He said, "'We had decided suddenly that Dileep had to be ousted as FEFKA and Producers' Council had taken action against him. Later, this (taking him back) had to be presented at the General Body meeting. When it was presented, no one opposed. No woman, no opposing group said anything against taking Dileep back."
Mohanlal said that in July 2017, when AMMA decided to throw out Dileep, there were several differences in opinion between members, and that there was a possibility of the organisation splitting. He reiterated that AMMA had not followed any procedure while taking action against Dileep.
However, he also said that he was with the survivor.
Mohanlal then took umbrage at the fact that Dileep has said he will stay away from AMMA. "Now, Dileep doesn't want to come to AMMA. So what is the point of us discussing whether to take him back?" he said.
Asked about the opportunities which the survivor had said she was denied due to the interference of Dileep - before the assault - about which she had complained to AMMA, Mohanlal said that she had not given any written complaint about the same. He further claimed that AMMA was trying to help her out and that recently she had been invited to be part of a show in Muscat but that she had opted out.
Mohanlal also said that he was unaware that AMMA was a patriarchal organisation and that nobody had raised such issues earlier.
Mohanlal was also asked about actor Thilakan's exclusion from AMMA. However, Mohanlal didn't quite pin the blame on AMMA, an organisation that Thilakan had gone after openly, calling out how it was controlled tightly by a few people, including Dileep.
Mohanlal called the skit put up by six women actors during the AMMA Mazhavil show an example of "black humour", defending it as something which was conceptualised by the concerned women because of all the talk on patriarchy.
Mohanlal also claimed that nobody had stopped women from occupying office in AMMA. He said that even now, Parvathy was welcome to contest. He added that the ice should be broken.
The AMMA president also said that if Dileep is acquitted, AMMA would welcome him back.