In a strongly worded press statement condemning the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) for reinstating rape accused Dileep, several prominent members of the industry have slammed the film body.
Asserting their support for the survivor, several actors, directors, producers and other technicians from the industry, have called to question the actions of AMMA office bearers and demanded that the public representatives who are part of the body, step down.
"If the politicians elected by the general public and who are part of AMMA, continue in the organisation despite it taking an anti-women stance, it would mean that they support it. Instead, if they do not endorse AMMA's stand, we hope that they will voluntarily step down and fulfill their social responsibility to the general public and the women who elected them," the statement reads.
The statement has been signed by State Award winning actor Vinayakan, WCC members Vidhu Vincent, Revathy, Parvathy, Padmapriya, actor and writer P Balachandran, actor Sajitha Madathil, ace directors Aashiq Abu, Rajeev Ravi, Dileesh Pothan, Anwar Rasheed and Amal Neerad, among 100 signatories.
Kollam MLA Mukesh Kumar, Pathanapuram MLA Ganesh Kumar and Left MP Innocent, all hold plum positions in AMMA, which reinstated accused actor Dileep earlier this week.
While Innocent is the former President of AMMA, both Ganesh Kumar and Mukesh hold the position of Vice President in the Executive Committee (2018-2021).
Asserting that the woman actor who was abducted and sexually abused last year is a survivor and not a victim, they said that they stand by her in her battle.
"Our friend is not a victim. She is a bold young woman who has survived physical, sexual and mental attack and become a model for the society," the statement reads.
They have also questioned AMMA's inaction when the survivor filed a complaint against actor Dileep with the organisation a few years ago for allegedly ensuring that she was denied opportunities in the industry.
"No action has been taken by the actors' body on the complaint the young woman, who was a member of the body, had given against the accused actor. It is later when she was attacked and the police accused the same male actor for it that he was expelled, after there was no other go. It's obvious it was only a face-saving act, when this man was taken back," the statement reads.
As members of the film industry, they also appealed to the state government and various associations to create a healthy work environment.
"We request you to create an environment where there are no vested interests, or caste, religious or gender differences," the statement reads.
Speaking to TNM, director Rajeev Ravi, "AMMA may have many members, but the responsibility of the two MLAs and MP is different. They are answerable to the people, men and women who voted for them. We are asking them to step aside from the committee, and prove that they don't endorse such a decision."
Rajeev Ravi also added that it was not easy to reach out and seek opinions from people in the industry. "We don't have an organisation or any formal way of communication. But we managed to reach out to a lot of like minded people and they endorsed the statement."
Earlier this week, four women from the Women in Cinema Collective - Rima Kallingal, Ramya Nambessan, Geetu Mohandas and the survivor - resigned from AMMA soon after it reinstated Dileep. Following this, three other WCC members, Parvathy, Padmapriya, and Revathy submitted a letter to AMMA questioning its decision and calling for an emergency executive meeting.