Some are asking why their concerns aren't being taken up.

Where is the respect for supporting actors Sandalwood asks after two actors die
news Sandalwood Tuesday, November 08, 2016 - 19:42

At the time of writing on Tuesday, the bodies of the two actors Anil and Uday, had still not been found. The pair had jumped into the reservoir along with actor Duniya Vijay on Monday, as part of a stunt scene for the film “Maasti Gudi”.

In the video footage of the incident, only Vijay is seen wearing safety gear. While Vijay was rescued by some people in a coracle, the other two actors could not be saved. Anil’s sister Asha, has asked why only Duniya Vijay was rescued and not her brother. 

In the wake of the incident, some actors and film personalities have raised questions about the treatment of junior artists, and demanded that they be treated on par with lead actors. 

Actor Chetan told The News Minute that Sandalwood should “introspect”, and that the “elders and industry personalities in positions of power” should put in place necessary regulatory mechanisms that favour “our fighters, artists, and stunts personnel to prevent such horrific tragedies from ever happening again”.

Recalling that he knew Anil personally as they worked together in the film “Birugali”, Chetan said: “Fighters and those performers fighting and doing stunts are the biggest risk-takers. The remuneration and benefits that they get are not nearly enough, considering their lives are on the line so often.” 

He said that unlike lead actors who are doing the hitting for fight sequences, fighters were the people who took the beating, which is more difficult. “It’s obvious that no one can hit someone 10 feet into the air. So the fighter has to fall, jump, be hit by other substances. It’s difficult to be the one who is falling and jumping.”

Referring to one of the actors who said that he was doing the scene with faith in god, Chetan said: “You can’t depend on that. The fight master, director, producer, and those in positions of power must decide if the actors and fighters are adequately trained (swimming, etc), prepared to do those scenes, whether risky stunts are necessary for the script and film, and ensure proper safety and procedural measures have been fulfilled.

Actor Aindrita Ray, who has in the past spoken about the gender pay gap in the industry, hinted at a patriarchal culture. She tweeted:

 

Director Pawan Kumar, who made the acclaimed crowd-funded film “Lucia”, said the culture of masculinity in the film industry needed urgent re-examination. He blamed the “male ego”, the macho, patriarchal culture of the film industry for the tragedy. 

In a Facebook post late on Monday night, Pawan said: “What do you think made two non swimmers sign up to jump of a helicopter into a lake so deep. No... they weren't stupid. We didn't give them that space... to be vulnerable.. to open their mouths and say "Hey, I am scared, I can't do it". I think if there was one MAN on that set today... who had just considered them as human beings with limitations... and not as superman. They would have lived.”

He said that putting in place safety standards which “means budgets”, had to be a learning from the tragedy. But more importantly, he said, people had to have the ability to treat each other as “mere human beings”. 

“Let a man be a man... he can have 6 pack abs... that doesnt mean he is invincible.... unbreakable… Lets be human to each other please... lets be sensitive enough to understand that everyone has a threshold... and it is OK to be able to do only that much.” 

Addressing his actors, he said he hoped that he had treated all of them with this sensitivity. “A part of my head is always doing that.. always making sure... that I am not breaking you. And if you still felt like I pushed you more and didn't give you that space to tell that to me... then I am terribly sorry. I will make sure I will be more aware of this.”

Other actors too have clearly said that more precautions need to be taken, and have also pointed out that there is a difference in the way the cine artists’ association treats supporting actors such as Anil and Uday.

Actor Ramya tweeted, saying that lead actor or not, every crew member must be safeguarded.

It is an open secret that the cine actors’ association is only meant for the stars. They don’t quite take up the concerns of supporting actors. Despite repeated attempts, President of the association, MH Ambareesh, could not be reached for comment on the issue.

Several raised questions over the safety precautions.

 

Several film personalities, limited their comments to expressing sadness at the tragedy and offering condolences to the family.

 

 

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