Mumbai: Actor Parvathy Thiruvoth Kottuvata on Tuesday said the Malayalam film industry needs to learn from Bollywood superstars to act immediately in cases of sexual harassment. “We were amazed to see that men, who are in forefront, who are successful producers and actors, coming ahead and lending their voice to this. That is something we are missing out not just in Malayalam industry but Tamil and Telugu industry as well,” she said.
“Their voice is going to catapult (the cause) to another level, so it will be easier to follow up. This is commendable but there is alarming silence from a lot of others,” she said during a panel discussion on ‘The Power of Collective And The Road Ahead’, at MAMI film festival here.
Parvathy lauded the prompt decisions by top Bollywood actors and filmmakers to distance themselves from those accused of sexual harassment as the #MeToo movement gained ground. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Aamir Khan pulled out of “Mogul”, a biopic on slain T-Series boss Gulshan Kumar, after charges of rape and sexual harassment were levelled against its director Subhash Kapoor.
Akshay Kumar called for strict action against Sajid Khan, the director of his upcoming film “Housefull 4”, after several women accused him of sexual harassment. Parvathy, who made her Bollywood debut with romantic comedy ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ last year, is a part of Women In Cinema Collective — a Malayalam film industry outfit formed soon after the shocking assault of an actress in February 2017. She said Bollywood also needs to have a body like WCC to address and monitor the cases of sexual harassment.
Director Anjali Menon, who was also present at the session, said it is important to not only name and shame, but immediate action also needs to be taken in such cases. “This whole thing of naming the person is a huge step and to take proactive action is important as it conveys that we are in support of the survivors. There have been reactions happening here and it is important to place the intent and that is proven by action, words don’t help. The silence is a very disturbing stand,” she said. Bollywood is taking the right step, she added.
The session was also attended by actors Rima Kallingal and Veena Gowda and women’s rights lawyer and filmmaker Ruchi Narain.