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In a press meet, Rakul Preet, Manchu Lakshmi, Nandini Reddy, Suman, Srikanth and others came together to condemn the incident.

Enough is enough Tollywood stands up against TV anchors whore comment
Flix Sexism Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 15:51

After Telugu TV anchor E Sambashiva Rao of TV5 News asked actor Posani Murali Krishna on a show if there weren't "brokers" and "whores" in the film industry, Tollywood has come together to condemn the incident.

Although TV5 News has apologised for the anchor's language on the show, which was aired on March 23, the Movie Artists Association (MAA) called for a press meet in which they expressed their unhappiness about what had happened.

Actor Rakul Preet Singh, who is among the top heroines in the Telugu industry today, said that the media was always writing all kinds of news about celebrities, but that this time it had reached the limit.

"It's disgraceful. When I first saw the video, I didn't believe it...if something like this had happened in the channel. I wondered if someone had sent a forward just to create controversy," she said.

Adding that it was the job of news channels to give people information, Rakul said, "But everything has become about TRPs now. Just imagine, from the actor's point of view, my parents don't know Telugu, but if they understood that news, what will they think? They'll think this is the industry I'm working in."

Rakul added that when called for press meets and asked to speak on the "casting couch", she'd always said that in the last 4-5 years that she has worked in the Telugu industry, nobody had acted "funny" with her. She further claimed that the Telugu industry was very good and that this was why she'd learnt Telugu and was speaking it. Slamming the anchor for using such language not just against women actors but women in general, Rakul said, "What are you teaching the kids? What are you teaching the younger generations? I think it's high time that we put a stop to this."

A visibly upset actor Manchu Lakshmi, daughter of veteran actor Mohan Babu, said, "I studied in America. I've worked in Hollywood. I came back to work in our Telugu industry. Once my father called and told me that someone had written something bad about me on a website and that it should be taken down. I told him, 'Nana, I don't care'."

Stating that she argued with her father that even if that article was taken down, another would come up, an emotional Lakshmi says that she had grown up in front of the people she was addressing and that she never thought things would come to such a state.

The actor said that she hadn't come to work in the Telugu industry with so much pride only to be humiliated. Slamming clickbait journalism, Manchu Lakshmi said, "I know you use us to make money." She appealed to the press to write correct information and not give in to sensationalism.

"Why is that man not sacked already?" she questioned the assembled journalists, pointing out that if she'd behaved rudely with any one of them, they'd have all united against her. The actor spoke at length about the hard work involved in cinema, and how she'd stood up for various causes and even been part of political campaigns.

Director Nandini Reddy said that she was the first person from her family to come into the film industry, "They were all scared for me when I wanted to get into films."

Pointing to the media, Nandini said that just as the Telugu film industry was also her family, the press too was family to her. Nandini said that she was at a recording when her friend called and asked her if she had no shame. "When I asked why he was speaking like this, he said it's been 24 hours since the interview happened and you haven't even reacted. Are you human? Are you dead?"

Nandini shared that when she first saw the clip she was dumbstruck and that even now, her hands were shaking thinking about how she felt when she watched it. Asking how much more they had to bear, Nandini pointed out that such discussions took place on prime time TV and said, "Enough is enough."

Nandini also acknowledged that the press had a right to question the film industry about the language and portrayals in cinema, but said that going back and forth on the issue would take them nowhere. The director said that mediapersons themselves should stop their colleagues from indulging in such behaviour, just as they exercise their rights to question the film industry. "Let us be censors for each other," she said.

Actor Hema and producers Supriya, Swapna Dutt were among the Tollywood women who spoke up.

The men from the industry like actors Suman, Srikanth, Ali, directors Harish Shankar, SV Krishna Reddy, Paruchuri Gopala Krishna, BVS Ravi and others also slammed the incident.

Previously, at the audio launch of the Telugu film Ra Randoi Veduka Chudham, veteran actor Chalapathi Rao infamously said that women are "fit for sleeping with men." His remarks sparked outrage and Nagarjuna, Naga Chaitanya, as well as Rakul Preet Singh, who had been present at the event, issued their condemnation for the derogatory remarks.

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