Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) on Monday expressed disappointment over AMMA’s decision to not take strict action against Malayalam actor Dileep. In a Facebook post, they criticised the film body’s failure to set a precedent for future cases. Dileep is the eighth accused in a case of kidnapping and sexual assault of a popular Malayalam female actor.
Although welcoming the decision that Dileep will no longer be a part of AMMA, WCC’s statement was highly critical of the Executive Committee of AMMA for continuing to ignore its responsibility in triggering the resignation of the survivor and her three colleagues. “It is unfortunate to witness contradictory statements, infighting and the decorative status of women in the organization at the time of #MeToo”, they further added.
AMMA’s perceived inaction after the sexual assault of a female actor prompted the women of the Malayalam film industry to create a safe platform to discuss their issues. The all-women outfit WCC aims to increase awareness of gender discrimination and to fight the existing misogyny in the industry. They held AMMA responsible for creating toxic workspace for women by perpetrating “victim-shaming” and even went on to express a lack of faith in the leadership of AMMA for acting against the interest of women.
WCC noted in their Facebook post that the public statements made by AMMA office bearers are in clear contradiction of realities within the association and reiterated the need to bring effective grievance redressal systems. They have also accused the association for failing to provide any kind of assurances or job security to victims after calling out harassment in the workplace.
The organisation applauded the courage of actresses Divya Gopinath, Sridevika, Archana Padmini and Sruthi Hariharan for speaking out against workplace atrocities and conceded their full support to them.
In order to be able to work towards ensuring equality, welfare and safety for all its members at workplaces, the WCC urged members of the industry to contact their unions and understand their rights and responsibilities.