From Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu to Malayalam actor Mukesh and late director Rajesh Pillai, multiple women have come forward with anonymous allegations.

Here is the list of south film industry stars who have spoken out on MeToo
Flix MeToo Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 19:08

Days after alleged sexual harassers in the Indian media industry have been named and shamed on social media, beginning with the outing of comedian Utsav, women have also accused several popular, powerful men from the film industry in south India.

On Tuesday, singer Chinmayi accused Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu of sexual harassment, along with several women who have chosen to remain anonymous. In a veiled response on Wednesday, Vairamuthu said it was an attempt to humiliate him.

Malayalam actor Mukesh was accused of harassment by casting director Tess Joseph, and actress Divya Unni has made allegations against Malayalam director (late) Rajesh Pillai.

Anonymous allegations of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour have been made against other celebrities from the south, including Tamil actor Radha Ravi, Tamil actor TM Karthik, Tamil actor John Vijay, music composer Gopi Sunder, and singer-composer Raghu Dixit of the Raghu Dixit Project.

Following these allegations, a deafening silence descended over the industry with several men heading various bodies within the industries choosing to remain silent.

Here is a list of those who have spoken up in support of the women who have come forward with their stories:

Samantha, who has increasingly been speaking out against gender discrimination, took to Twitter and wrote, “I am so happy that more and more women are finding the strength to say #MeToo. Your bravery is commendable. I am sorry though that some people, even other women themselves will shame and burden you with the question of proof and doubt. Just know that you are saving many little girls with your voice. I support the #MeTooIndia movement.”

She voiced her appreciation for singer Chinmayi for her courage to call out Vairamuthu.

Actor Varalaxmi Sarathkumar also tweeted in support of the #MeToo movement, saying that it was "alarming" to hear these stories. She said that she'd stood up for #MeToo last year and that she wanted more women to come forward and speak up.

Singer Shaktishree Gopalan praised Chinmayi for her immense courage to come forward and expose predators who are in positions of power.

Actor Siddharth has come out in support of the MeToo movement, specifically naming Vairamuthu and calling for women to be heard without judgement. He also defended Chinmayi for coming forward despite having a lot to lose. On Wednesday, in a tweet tagging the President of the Nadigar Sangam and the Tamil Film Producers Council, Vishal, Siddharth called for a meeting.

Tamil film director CS Amudhan also defended Chinmayi for coming forward at this time, saying it was absolutely selfless of her.

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan spoke on the MeToo movement at the Hindustan Times leadership summit in response to a question by journalist Zakka Jacob.

When asked if the time for the movement has come, he said, "Yes, we must have these conversations. All industries must have these conversations. Because of its high profile, in most industries, most men vie for power. These things happen. But here it is more obvious. It is a glamour world. It is closer to these kind of things. But we should address it. Let's say we are living in times of Abraham Lincoln and suddenly MeToo movement, and everybody says yes, I was a slave too, I was from Africa too, what's wrong with that? I think they should say that. MeToo movement should be fair."

He further agreed that this is the moment to address sexual harassment of women at the workplace. "Yes, we must address it, especially when we've addressed adultery. We are coming to that balance. We were the people who respected sati (the practice of burning Hindu widows on their dead husband's pyre). We changed it. We legislated it out of existence. These are signs of progress. Whatever generation you belong to, we must not shy away from it.”

Actor Prakash Raj supported the movement, calling upon women to come forward and give it back to their predators.

“This country to coming terms and the movement is catching up. If a woman comes up and says 'I have been abused,' it has to be looked into. Vairamuthu has the right to say it is a lie, he has to prove it is a lie. You cannot victimise Chinmayi or any woman for that matter. In this country, where things are opening up and women are asking questions, it is time that we as a society use this moment and see to it that this stops somewhere and people who have committed have to be brought to book,” he said.

Velaiyilla Pattathari actor Amitash Pradhan also batted for Chinmayi, expressing hope that it encourages other women to come forward.

Character artiste Mohan Raman also came out in support of Chinmayi saying that the women who waited to speak up were just scared human victims.

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