Movies

Tamil actor-director Bhagyaraj on sexual assault: ‘You can’t only blame boys; women create the opportunity’

K Bhagyaraj

K Bhagyaraj  

Kollywood actor-director faces criticism after his speech against victims of rape and sexual assault at the audio launch of ‘Karuthukalai Pathivu Sei’

Veteran actor-director K Bhagyaraj has come under fire for misogynistic comments made by him at a recent audio launch where he was seen blaming survivors of sexual abuse and commented on the use of mobile phones by women.

At the audio launch of Karuthukalai Pathivu Sei, a film that reportedly borrows its premise from the sexual abuse cases that rocked Pollachi, Bhagyaraj made several insensitive and sexist comments. He could be seen saying that women are also to be blamed for instances of sexual abuse as “oosi idam kodokkamal nool nuzhayadhu” (the needle must make room for the thread) and that laying the blame only on boys is unfair to them, as the women give them the space for “mistakes” to happen.

He also spoke of how women from an earlier era were kept in their place, but women these days talk to anyone and everyone on the phone. He added that fathers buy their daughters phones only for their protection, but it is being used for unnecessary chatting by the women.

In a reference to extramarital relationships, Bhagyaraj defends the behaviour of men, he says “If a man has a chinnaveedu (mistress) he will do all to keep her happy and to not disturb the periyaveedu (wife). But if a woman has an affair, that’s when you read about how she plots with her lover to murder her husband and children. This is why women need to be kept under control.”

He also went on to say that he had featured empowered women in his movies only unknowingly as he had been from a joint family. He claimed that the reason incidents like the sexual abuse cases in Pollachi come up is because the women gave room for such incidents to take place, and that the men have only taken advantage of a weakness shown by women.

Much of the speech was met with applause and encouragement from the audience.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 2:04:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/bhagyaraj-on-sexual-assault-you-cant-only-blame-boys-women-create-the-opportunity/article30096168.ece

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