The South Indian Artistes Association or Nadigar Sangam as it is popularly known has announced the setting up of an ICC, following weeks of allegations made against celebrities from the Tamil film industry, as part of the ‘Me Too’ movement online.
On Monday, Nadigar Sangam President Nasser and Treasurer Karthi convened a Special Working Committee meeting of the actor’s body. A two-point statement released to the press read, “Although there are Sangam laws to safeguard the rights and self-respect of our members, a legally-mandated ‘Vishaka committee’ will be constituted.”
The Internal Complaints Committee is to be made up of a majority of women members. The committee would include a psychologist as well, the statement said. The Nadigar Sangam assured that the ICC would be a neutral body.
Further the Sangam also recommended the setting up of a redressal mechanism to the Tamil Film Producers Council.
“It is recommended that an authoritative body be set up under the leadership of the Tamil Film Producers Council for the redressal of conflicts that arise at the shooting spot.”
The Nadigar Sangam urged the TFPC to also include the Film Employees Federation of South India, the Tamil Nadu Film Director's Association and themselves under the ambit of this redressal body.
Monday’s announcement comes in the wake of several celebrities who were ‘outed’ as part of the Me Too movement online, including Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu. Up to 11 women, including singer Chinmayi, US-based photographer Sindhuja Rajaram and anchor Bhuvana Seshan have recounted their experiences with the lyricist and how he proceeded to seek sexual favours from them at the workplace.
Other celebrities from the Tamil film industry who have been accused of sexual conduct by women include actor Radha Ravi, actor TM Karthik, actor John Vijay, singer Karthik, director Susi Ganesan, actor Arjun Sarja and actor-producer Thyagarajan.
On October 13, General Secretary of the Nadigar Sangam and President of TFPC, actor Vishal had announced the setting-up of a three-member probe committee to look into the allegations.
“We are forming a three-member committee for all bodies i.e. Nadigar Sangam, FEFSI, TFPC, and Film Chamber. It is a platform to make sure women are safe and to ensure unity in the industry. At the same time, it will also be a platform to show that we are there for the women actors, from junior artistes to senior artistes,” he had said.