In October this year, Chinmayi made allegations of sexual misconduct against lyricist Vairamuthu. She had also supported women who came forward and spoke up against Radha Ravi who heads the Dubbing Artistes Union.

Me Too backlash Singer Chinmayis Tamil dubbing union membership axedTwitter: @Chinmayi
Flix Controversy Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 19:22

Weeks after singer Chinmayi came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu as part of the ‘MeToo’ movement on social media, she has revealed that her membership of the dubbing union has been axed.

Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Chinmayi wrote, “Sooo given to understand that I have been terminated from the dubbing union. Which means I can longer dub in Tamil films henceforth. The reason stated is that I haven’t paid ‘subscription fees’ for 2 years though this hasn’t stopped them from taking 10% off my dubbing income.”(sic)

While the official reason given to her seems to be that she hasn’t paid her ‘subscription fees’, the move, as the singer has pointed out, is a sudden one. Weeks earlier, Chinmayi had supported women who came forward to speak up against actor Radha Ravi. While two women have alleged sexual misconduct by the character artiste and politician, many others had spoken up about his alleged authoritarian grip over the dubbing body.

In addition to an illustrious singing career, Chinmayi has also dubbed for several films, voicing the part of the woman lead in Tamil films. Her most recent film was the hugely successful 96, where she had dubbed for Trisha. In fact, Chinmayi had tweeted about her fears on October 9, stating, “I can see my Dubbing career go up in smoke now. He heads the dubbing union.”

While no questions have been asked of Radha Ravi by the various film industry bodies, the axing of Chinmayi’s dubbing union membership is a reminder of the very high price women stand to pay, even as they find the courage to speak against their alleged abusers.

Read: Radha Ravi runs south dubbing union like a mafia, allege ousted members

Chinmayi also explained on Twitter that those without a membership are not allowed to dub for films. “According to Tamil Film Industry rules if you’re not a member of the dubbing union they won’t allow you to work. Considering no written communication, message was sent to me on past dues and with the membership terminated I wonder if I ll dub for a film again in Tamil (sic),” she wrote.

She also said, “I expected the first axe to go down from the dubbing union. I dont know yet if I’ll be given my membership back. Just a decision that’s been taken without informing me that my membership is terminated. I am still on the much publicised concert tour in the US (sic).”

On a parting note, the singer also said, “Anyway as of now it looks like ‘96 will be my last in Tamil. It is a good film to end my Tamil dubbing scene with if the termination were to continue. Bye Bye!”

When asked about why Chinmayi’s membership had suddenly been revoked, Radha Ravi denied that she had been a member of the South Indian Cine, Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union for two years.

"Chinmayi was not allowed to vote this time during the dubbing union elections because she is not a member of the union. Judge Vasuki, who oversaw the elections, told us she cannot be a member since she has not been paying her membership fee. I don’t know how things were run two years ago, I've just come to power.”

The dubbing body chief also said that the singer will no longer be able to dub. “For the past two years, she has been exempted and allowed to dub only because she's a well-known artiste,” he added.

Read: Me Too: Why many women don’t speak out about sexual abuse ‘immediately’

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