A day after social media outrage over routine offender Radha Ravi’s distasteful remarks on ‘Lady Superstar’ Nayanthara, the actor herself has issued a statement slamming him. In the two page statement Nayanthara has termed Radha Ravi a misogynist and condemned him for his remarks. Radha Ravi, who was speaking at the launch of the trailer of Nayanthara’s film Kolaiyuthir Kaalam last week, slut shamed her and questioned how she could essay the role of goddess Sita in an earlier film in which she had starred.
In her statement, Nayanthara also questions the judgement of the audience at the event who applauded Radha Ravi's sexist remarks. She then takes the conversation beyond this incident to ask the Nadigar Sangam (Actors’ Association) when they plan to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee as per the Vishakha Guidelines.
At the event, Radha Ravi had said, “Nayanthara acts as a ghost, and then she goes on to act as Sita as well. She acts as Sita! Earlier, to play the role of a goddess, they would look for [someone like] KR Vijaya. Now, anyone can be cast to play a goddess. They can cast someone who you want to pray to when you look at them, they can also cast someone you want to call towards you when you see them!”
Nayanthara’s full statement reads as follows:
“I rarely issue public statements, as I have always allowed my professional work to speak for itself. However desperate times mandate desperate measures. So today, I am compelled to issue a detailed statement to clarify my own position and also to champion the cause of women who bear the brunt of male insensitivities and sexism.
First and foremost it my bounden duty to place on record my sincerest thanks and deepest appreciation to the president of DMK Thiru MK Stalin for swiftly taking action against misogynistic speeches of Thiru Radha Ravi. My sincere thanks to you sir.
At the outset, I would like to remind Radha Ravi and the likes of misogynists like him that they were also given birth by a woman. By demeaning the status of women and passing sexist remarks these retarded men get a feeling of machismo. I feel terribly sorry for the way they treat women in an opinionated way and my empathy remains with all the women who live in the families of these 'macho' men.
As an actor of considerable seniority and work experience, Mr.Radha Ravi should have led the younger generation by example, instead, he has chosen to take up the role of a misogynist 'role-model'.
These are troubled times for women, as women are establishing themselves predominantly in every field of public life and asserting their due place in the era of meritocracy. When actors like Mr. Radha Ravi fall out of business and become irrelevant they tend to rely on cheap popularity tactics in order to grab some limelight.
What remains ghastly shocking about his male chauvinistic speeches are that he never ceases to get applause and laughs from some members of the audience. As long as the audience encourage sexist remarks, speakers like Mr Radha Ravi will continue to thrive on misogyny and cracking of denigrating jokes against women. I strongly urge well intentioned citizens and my beloved fans to deeply discourage the behaviour of the likes of Mr Radha Ravi. Not withstanding the aforesaid advisory, through this statement I would like to strongly register my condemnation and protest against the derogatory speeches made by Mr Radha Ravi against women and children in general and me in specific.
God has been amply kind in giving me wonderful professional opportunities and the affectionate movie-goers of Tamil Nadu have amply rewarded me for my good performances. Irrespective of all negative remarks and aspersions cast upon me, I shall continue to take up the multifaceted role of Sita, ghost, Goddess, friend, wife, lover, so on and so forth with the solemn intention of providing maximum entertainment to my fans.
Lastly, my humble question to the South Indian Artistes’ Association (Nadigar Sangam):- Will you set up the Internal Complaints Committee as per the hon’ble Supreme Court’s dictum and commence an internal inquiry as per Vishakha Guidelines???
Once again, thanking all the good hearts that have stood by me yet again supporting me through this little phase of negativity.”
Nayanthara was neither present at this event, nor did she know such an event was being conducted, according to her partner and director Vignesh Shivn.
In the same speech, Radha Ravi also cracked what he believed was a joke on the Pollachi sexual assault and extortion saga. “What is the difference between a big film and a small film? If you rape one girl at once, it is a small film. If you rape 40 people at once, like in Pollachi, it is a big film,” he had said.