Kottayam: Innocent intended a cease fire but it eventually brought in more fire. The AMMA president on Wednesday called a press meet to clear the air about the various controversies raging in Mollywood – from actress attack case to Ganesh Kumar's letter on disbanding the organization. But little did he know that his statements meant, to deflate a situation, rubbed off the wrong way with the Women In Cinema Collective of Mollywood. All thanks should go to his comments on the moral values of Mollywood.
The women collective objected to Innocent's statement that the Malayalam industry was free from the menace of sexual abuse. "Most of the aspiring artists who come to this field have been subjected to various types of abuses. That shows the power hierarchy that exists in Mollywood, similar to other industries. In this context, Innocent's comments seem like an eyewash," the women's collective said in an FB post, barely a few hours after the AMMA president's meet.
Women's collective also claimed that the practice of 'casting couch' exists in the industry and sought the government-appointed commission to probe into this aspect also. "Several persons who come to this field are subjected to various types of exploitation," women's collective alleged. "Some of our colleagues themselves had openly talked about casting couch very recently," it pointed out.
When asked about patriarchy ruling AMMA, Innocent quipped whether there was any woman chief minister from Kerala.
On allegations of sexual abuse in the industry, Innocent said: “That time has long since gone. If someone were to make a lewd comment against a woman, then immediately she would speak up against it. But... if she is morally incorrect, she may sleep with someone. Otherwise, now everything is very clean, clean.”
This statement touched a raw nerve and the women collective began their post by thanking Innocent for the support he has offered them.
"But one can never term the industry as a sexual abuse-free zone. Like in all industries,there is only recently young actresses such as Parvathy openly talked about the menace of casting couch. We are hoping that the government-appointed judicial panel would conduct a comprehensive probe into it.”
“So industry veterans should be alert before making such statement about the film fraternity,” they concluded the post.
Meanwhile, Innocent in another post, said that he has not made any anti-women statement and that his statement was interpretted wrongly. He said all that he tried to convey was that the film industry is much better and safer for women now when compared to earlier days.