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#MeToo Kollywood: A R Rahman Speaks Out


Some of the Names Have Shocked Me

‘I Had a Nasty Experience With Vairamuthu’

Bhuvana Seshan, a self employed media professional and musician/singer has spoken out on how she faced intimidation and sexual misconduct (which she repeatedly fought off) at the hands of Vairamuthu many years ago. From threats over the phone asking her to comply to his demands, to threatening to ruin her career as a playback singer, Bhuvana has accused Vairamuthu of multiple instances of inappropriate behaviour.

Bhuvana Seshan believes her post will add weight to and corroborate Chinmayi’s accusations against Vairamuthu.

Since there were issues with the Facebook link, Chinmayi Sriprada tweeted it out.

Public Hearing on Sexual Harassment and Intimidation

Sruthi Hariharan Outs Arjun Sarja

Sruthi Hariharan is an actor/producer from Kerala, whose filmography spans Kannada, Malayalam, and occasionally, Tamil. She has spoken out on the sexual misconduct meted out to her on a daily basis verbally and physically by actor Arjun Sarja, as part of the MeToo movement.

Arjun Sarja is the first Kannada actor to fall under the scanner of the movement.

Rajinikanth Defends Vairamuthu

At an impromptu presser outside the Chennai airport today, a group of Tamil language reporters asked Rajinikanth about the MeToo movement. The question was, ‘Do you support the movement’?

MeToo is a movement in favour of women, but it should not be misused. 

When asked to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct, abuse and intimidation against lyricst Vairamuthu, he had this to say.

But he denies the allegations, doesn’t he? He says he didn’t do any of it, and that he’s got proof, isn’t it?

Over his fifty year film career, especially from the 90s, Rajinikanth’s films have featured a number of homilies on what a woman should/shouldn’t be, how she should behave, etc. He has never vocally supported a women’s movement either in his films or outside of it. This therefore, comes as no surprise.

After Vairamuthu, Susi Ganesan Bites the Dust

Leena Manimegalai, a film maker, poet, author and actor had written a facebook post in 2011, about an ordeal of sexual misconduct by a film director, who she had not named at the time. She has re-shared the post, and this time, revealed the name of the alleged perpetrator as director Susi Ganesan.

Susi Ganesan has directed a number of films in Tamil, including hits like Thiruttu Payale (1 and 2) and Kanthasaamy starring Vikram.

Why Now? Why not Then? Chinmayi Answers

Despite a series of twitter threads on her ‘motive’ and her silence, playback singer Chinmayi has been constantly badgered on twitter and by the electronic media with this question. At the airport, she makes her stand clearer.

In 2004-05, there were no such avenues to talk, POCSO didn’t exist, the Vishakha guidelines weren’t truly implemented. Had I opened up then, the media themselves would have asked me if I was doing it for ‘publicity’, since I had barely sung four songs, and knew no one in the industry. Survivors still don’t know who to approach when they are sexually abused. You yourself in the media still don’t follow the Vishakha guidelines. As individual women, we don’t have the strength to fight alone. Today I have both, and also the MeToo movement. Now even rape jokes in cinema are on the wane. This is bigger than just the (film) industry or the media. You yourself are only just ready to accept a victim’s statement, in 2018. Don’t blame me for not coming forward earlier.
Playback Singer Chinmayi

Vairamuthu Responds to Sexual Harassment Allegations

“The charges against me are false.  It is made with an intention to defame me. If the charges are true the concerned people can register cases against me.  For past one week I have gathered unassailable evidences and discussed  with my lawyers. You can regsiter a case I am prepared to face it. People need not decide if I am a good or a bad man. Let the court decide I will obey the court,” said lyricist Vairamuthu, after multiple women came out, accusing the veteran of sexual harassnent.

Allegations on Playback Singer Karthik

Karthik is a playback singer who has performed live across the world, and has also sung for movies in most Indian languages. An alleged victim has reached out to journalist Sandhya Menon to share her story.

Actor Samantha Akkineni Backs Chinmayi’s Allegations

At a press conference a few days ago, when asked about the #MeToo movement, Samantha’s answer was diplomatic. She stated that she never had such an experience with any male member of the fraternity and that she cannot comment on something she hasn’t experienced. Nevertheless, she is one of the first film actors of the south to come out in support of Chinmayi’s allegations of sexual abuse against Vairamuthu.

Vairamuthu Denies Allegations in His Tweet

“The uncivilised act of sullying the name of a celebrity is being considered civility across the country. From the very beginning I have been continually insulted; this is one among the many. I have never given undue consideration to anything that is untrue. Time will reveal the truth.”

Vairamuthu’s denial comes two days after allegations against him were levelled by multiple women, whose tales were shared anonymously on twitter, notably by playback singer Chinmayi and journalist Sandhya Menon.

Radha Ravi and T M Karthik are yet to comment on allegations of sexual abuse levelled against them.

More Allegations Against Lyricist Vairamuthu

As many as four separate allegations of sexual abuse from different women have surfaced on social media against lyricist Vairamuthu. Sandhya Menon shared the first such instance on October 7th. Playback singer Chinmayi was the first from the Tamil film fraternity to take up the issue. Her tweets were supported and retweeted by actors Samantha and Varalakshmi.

Chinmayi herself has accused Vairmuthu of sexually abusing her.

Senior Actor Radha Ravi Called Out for Sexual Abuse

Radha Ravi is a senior member of the Tamil film fraternity.Radha Ravi is a senior member of the Tamil film fraternity.(Photo: Wikipedia)

Radha Ravi is a film and television actor, and former Chief of the South Indian Film Artists’ Association. He is the half-brother of actor/producer Radhikaa, and is often plays negative supporting roles. He is known for his vocal criticism against other members of the film fraternity.

Theatre Actor T M Karthik Called Out for Sexual Abuse

The theatre actor is yet to respond to the allegations.The theatre actor is yet to respond to the allegations.(Photo: Twitter/T M Karthik)

TM Karthik is a well-known theatre actor, who also essays supporting roles in Tamil cinema, most notably in Nanban (remake of 3 Idiots).

Twitterati Allege Caste Angle in #MeToo Posts Against Vairamuthu

In addition to the general disbelief, cynicism and suspicion, since the alleged victim has chosen to remain anonymous, a caste angle has come into play. Some Twitter users allege that this is a ploy by the upper caste to discredit Vairamuthu, who is seen as a Dravidian icon.

Chinmayi Shares Another Alleged Victim’s Story Against Vairamuthu

Playback Singer Chinmayi Leads the #MeToo Movement in TN Cinema

After Sandhya Menon tweeted out the alleged victim’s post against Vairamuthu, playback singer Chinmayi Sriprada was the first voice from the Tamil film industry to back her up. Soon, she shared another alleged victim’s account of sexual abuse by the lyricist.

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Updated: October 23, 2018 — 4:12 am
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