New Delhi: While #MeToo has taken India and the world by storm, Malayalam superstar Mohanlal has termed the movement as a mere “fad” with a short life span.
“There is no big problem in the Malayalam industry. You shouldn’t think of the #MeToo as a movement actually. It is a fad and it is turning into something of a fashion. Anything like that will have a lifespan for a bit,” Gulf News reported Mohanlal as saying at a press conference in Dubai.
“It (sexual harassment) can happen anywhere in life, not just in films,” he added.
However, minutes later, he told Gulf News that since he had never experienced harassment first hand, he has no authority to speak on the subject. “We (men) can also come out with a #MeToo, gender-wise. I cannot make a comment on that. Only when you experience something like that, you can make a comment on it. Just giving a comment on it isn’t the right thing. I don’t know much about it (#MeToo),” he told Gulf News.
He was speaking at a press conference to promote an upcoming charity fund-raiser show named Onnanu Namal [We Are One], by Asianet and AMMA, to be held in Abu Dhabi on December 7.
In fact, Mollywood has also seen its own share of #MeToo allegations. Actor and politician Mukesh was one of the first to face charges from a casting director. Actress Archana Padmini accused a production controller and actor Alancier faced allegations from a young co-star.
Mohanlal is the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), the primary film body of Kerala. The association has constantly been under fire due to the way it handled the attack on a female actor. Under Mohanlal’s leadership, the association reinstated Dileep’s membership courting a major controversy. The move was perceived as anti-woman and anti-survivor as Dileep is a prime accused in the case.
It is worth noting that Women In Cinema Collective (WCC) has announced an open revolt against all-powerful AMMA accusing it of failing to protect the interests of its female members.
However, the movement can hardly be called a fad. Within just two months of it hitting entertainment and journalism circles in India, the #MeToo movement has already been responsible for the resignation of several high-profile men, including Union Minister MJ Akbar, Resident Editor of the Times of India in Hyderabad, KR Sreenivas, Resident Editor of The Hindu in Kerala, Gouridasan Nair, and Hindustan Times political editor and bureau chief Prashant Jha, in addition to being responsible for the dissolution of #MeToo accused Vikas Bhal’s Phantom Films.
On the work front, Mohanlal was recently seen in Drama, which he called “a very small film set in the UK and has a good message.” He will next star in Odiyan and Lucifer.