“The fans associations of popular actors are a major reason for the downfall of Malayalam cinema. They should not been encouraged or recognised by any means,” said filmmaker Dr. Biju.
Speaking at the open forum of the Regional International Film Festival of Kerala (RIFFK) in Kozhikode on Monday on the topic ‘Stardom and fans associations’, Dr. Biju pointed out that charity activities undertaken by the fans associations were no excuse for their criminal activities.
The panel comprising poet Anilkumar Thiruvoth, critic Mohammed Rafi N.V., psychologist and filmmaker Baiju Laila Raj and activist Baiju Marykunnu were unanimous in their opinion that fans associations and the supremacy of stars were unhealthy for not just cinema but society at large as well.
Mr. Thiruvoth said the patriarchal and upper caste ideologies promoted by leading stars in Malayalam cinema were instrumental in nurturing Hindutva and neo-fascism in Kerala.
Mr. Rafi compared the fans of popular actors to followers of godmen who lived in a world of fallacy, ready to defend their idol by all means.
“Brainless muscles,” he termed them. Mr. Laila Raj said that “celebrity worship syndrome” was a disease that required psychological treatment.
Mr. Marykunnu said filmmakers who promoted actors as unrealistic heroes to appease fans were the major culprits in the case. “The fans have become rowdy gangs that welcome an actor accused of rape with open arms. They have become too intolerant to digest any negative opinion about their idols,” he said.
Mr. Thiruvoth later added that the stars were governed by the general personality of the characters they portrayed.