Lakshmy took exception to a scene from "Kadavul Irukan Kumaru" which parodies her talk show "Solvathellam Unmai".
Actor-director Lakshmy Ramakrishnan anchors a talk show called "Solvathellam Unmai" on a Tamil TV channel. The show resolves disputes between ordinary people, with Lakshmy counseling both parties and delivering the "verdict". Although popular, the show has invited criticism over the years for its "kangaroo court" format, as have similar programmes on other TV channels.
Recently, the Tamil film "Kadavul Irukan Kumaru" directed by M Rajesh and starring GV Prakash and RJ Balaji, had a scene in which actor Urvashi hosts a programme called "Pesuvadhellam Unmai".
The scene, clearly a parody of Lakshmy's programme, has irked the anchor who took to Twitter to express her displeasure by tweeting to GV Prakash and RJ Balaji.
With fans on either side adding fuel to the fire, Lakshmy tweeted on Wednesday that she was "coming out of all social media NOW."
Speaking to The News Minute, Lakshmy said, "I reacted to it because I thought people on the other side have basic courtesy and basic manners. Once I realised that it's not so, it's better not to talk about it. I want some peace of mind. The problem is not with them, I feel, the problem is with me. Because I expect certain basic decorum from people."
Lakshmy's response comes after RJ Balaji gave an interview
to Fully Filmy in which he stated that as an actor, he couldn't be held responsible for the scene. He also added that people in the theatre could be seen applauding the scene, thereby reinforcing it as a "popular opinion".
"If people watch the spoof of a show and laugh and clap in the theatre saying 'Yes, this is how it happens!' - she (Lakshmy) should be scolding everyone, not just me," said Balaji. He further observed that he doesn't know if the film is a hit or a flop, but that this particular scene seemed to have clicked with the audience.
"What would I do if I was in this position? I'd review myself and ask if I really need to do this show," he said. Balaji, who was on his way to a film screening, told The News Minute that he had nothing further to add.
The comedy sequence in "Kadavul Irukan Kumaru" involves Gomathi Gopalakrishnan (Urvashi) inviting Kumar (GV Prakash) and his friend (RJ Balaji) on one side and Kumar's girlfriend, Nancy (Anandhi), and her father (MS Bhaskar) on the other, to resolve a conflict between the lovers. But she ends up separating them in order to increase TRPs.
"People should understand the difference between spoof and mockery. You can't mock other people's efforts. Spoofing is a very, very creative thing. Spoofing and mimicry is always appreciated. It's one of the best forms of flattery. Because only popular programmes are spoofed. It's the best way to say we love you. But spoofing is different from mockery. It's a very very thin line and we should be more clear about what is spoof, what is comedy and what is mockery," said Lakshmy, when asked why she'd taken exception to the scene.
"Solvathellam Unmai" has attracted controversy previously too. Some months ago, a man committed suicide
allegedly after he was accused of being a pedophile on the show.
Lakshmy, however, does not shy away from answering questions about the show.
"I respect people. When you're on a public forum and you're a public figure, it comes with responsibility and you're answerable. So every person who asks me a question, I feel, is as concerned about society as I am. So I take the time to sit and explain. I keep giving my view point. That is how I am," she said.
The actor-director is unfazed by the negativity.
"I have 100% confidence and conviction about what I'm doing. Underlined. When I go out, when I meet people, I get unadulterated feedback on my show. I meet thousands and thousands of people who've benefited from this show. I have 100% conviction about what I'm doing. I will do it with more sincerity. And I will improve, day by day, by getting productive feedback. Just because one group of people who think they're intellectuals and think this is all below their level...who don't see the full programme, just hear bits and pieces and make a judgement and they think they're above all this...they comment on it and they say she shouldn't do it. I'm not going to back out," she affirmed.
Ironically, Urvashi, who is supposed to have parodied Lakshmy in the film, hosts a similar programme in Malayalam called "Jeevitham Sakshi". Director M Rajesh said in an interview
to Fully Filmy that it was when watching the show that he got the idea for including the sequence in his film. But his "adaptation" to make it relevant to a Tamil audience has clearly not gone down well with Lakshmy.