A day after actor Vinayakan apologised for his insensitive comment to a female journalist during a press meet in Kochi, actor Navya Nair was asked by a group of journalists why she did not respond to Vinayakan. As the line of questioning persisted, Navya said that if her apology would settle the issue once and for all, she would apologise. She pointed out that a woman like her was being questioned and crucified for comments made by a man.
Navya was first asked why she did not respond to Vinayakan, to which she responded that she was unsure how to answer even this question. The actor was then asked why Vinayakan did not take back his words. "That's a question to ask him," she said, "What he (Vinayakan) said was absolutely wrong. He has apologised for that on Facebook, not expressing regret, but he apologised. She was one of your colleagues, you (journalists) could have also reacted. We gathered there for the promotion of the Oruthi movie and didn't expect such things to happen." Navya was speaking at Thripunithura in Ernakulam for the promotion of the movie Oruthi. She is back to the Malayalam industry after a hiatus of ten years.
When a journalist persisted and said that though Vinayakan's comments were unexpected, Navya could still have replied, the actor said, "The ability to react differs in different people. I was not able to react in the way you suggest. I was feeling uncomfortable (while Vinayakan was making such comments). I tried to grab the mic from him. I didn't have the ability to react beyond that."
When she was asked again why she didn't react as a woman, Navya added, "If all the issues caused because of that would be resolved with my apology, I apologise to everyone with all my heart," she said.
Navya, however, also slammed the media for questioning a woman for the statements made by a man. "You all need to understand one thing. The statements there were made by a man, but it's a woman who is being crucified for that. There were more men there, but you all question me. I am here for the promotions of Oruthi. So many Kudumbashree workers have watched the movie. The movie is about how a woman evolves and starts reacting. The movie is about the power of a woman and that is the message of the team," she said.
A few days ago, at a promotional press meet for the movie Oruthi, Vinayakan made several comments on the MeToo movement.
"I donâ€™t know anything about MeToo. I want to know. Iâ€™ve had sex with 10 women in my life. I asked them all if they would like to have a relationship with me. If asking a woman for sex is MeToo, I will continue to do so,â€ť he said. He then pointed to a female journalist in the crowd and said that he would ask for her consent if he wanted to have sex with her and it was upto her to say yes or no. Vinayakan has received much criticism for skewing the concept of MeToo and presenting the issue of consent as a mere question between a man and a woman.
Supporting Navya's stance, actor Rima Kallingal wrote on Facebook that the onus was not on a woman to constantly correct a man's behaviour. Actor Parvathy wrote that it was not Navya's responsibility to react to Vinayakan and the media should not deliberately take away the attention from her success. Navya made a comeback to Malayalam cinema after 10 years.
Watch Navya speaking to media