Association of women in the film industry backs #MeToo

The South Indian Film Women’s Association (SIFWA) has expressed solidarity with the women who revealed the names of their harassers as part of the ongoing #MeToo movement and said it is ready to support those who spoke about the sexual misconduct and harassment that they faced.

Participating in a media interaction, which turned acrimonious at times, organised by the association, singer Chinmayi, director and actor Lakshmy Ramakrishnan, anchor and RJ Sriranjani and film-maker Leena Manimekalai discussed how the industry should deal with sexual harassment as well as create a conducive working environment for women.

“We recognise the need for women to be able to reach out and speak about any harassment or sexual misconduct they might have faced. I am someone who is well settled, has the support of my family and yet hesitated to speak up about the issue initially. There are so many young women in the film industry who are probably struggling to speak out and this is where we should offer them support to do so,” said Ms. Ramakrishnan.

While a few members of the Tamil film fraternity have come out in support of the women who have spoken up about the sexual harassment and misconduct they have been subjected too, Ms. Manimekalai acknowledged that there has been silence from most of the industry and blamed ‘male impunity’ for this.

She pointed out that like the Women in Cinema Collective, a collective or a forum for women was something that is missing in the industry, and welcomed the support of the South Indian Film Women’s Association. “The association has extended its solidarity to us and has said that they will be ready to support anyone else from the industry who has been affected,” she added.

Need for change

The women collectively stressed on the need for a change in the narrative around the movement where women speaking up would not be subjected to questions and humiliation.

Meanwhile, actor Sruthi Hariharan tweeted on Saturday that senior actor Arjun had sexually harassed her on the sets of Nibunan. The latter denied that he harassed any woman.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 4:16:31 AM |

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