The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes which is undergoing pressure for reinstating actor Dileep who is accused in rape case, finaly agreed to meet executive committee. But it has not set a date as of now.
The decision was made when Actors Revathy, Parvathy and Padmapriya – who are members of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) and are also part of the executive committee of AMMA – had called for an emergency executive meeting to discuss this.
The three women questioned AMMA for going ahead with bringing Dileep back in the general body meeting, without listing it in their agenda. In a letter addressed to Edavela Babu, the General Secretary of AMMA, on Thursday, the actors said, “At this meeting, a very crucial decision was taken regarding a member who was expelled due to his involvement in the alleged assault of one of AMMA’s women members. Considering the gravity of the circumstances and the matter being sub-judice, it is shocking that such an important matter was decided without listing it on the agenda or being discussed among all members prior to the meeting.”
“AMMA had publicly pledged full support to the member who survived the assault but the decision taken at the said meeting for reinstating the expelled member who is now a charge sheeted suspect, goes against the promise made by AMMA to the survivor,” the letter further said.
The three of them had demanded a discussion on four points:
1. The expelled member’s reinstatement & the implications of AMMA’s decision.
2. The steps taken by AMMA to support the survivor.
3. How AMMA’s bye-laws are structured to ensure welfare of all its members.
4. What AMMA can do to make women feel more included and safe.
Revathy, Parvathy and Padmapriya’s letter came a day after four other members of AMMA who are also part of WCC – Rima Kallingal, Ramya Nambessan, Geetu Mohandas and the survivor – resigned from the association.
On Saturday, 100 prominent members of the industry released a strongly worded press statement thrashing the association’s decision to reinstate the tainted actor. As members of the film industry, they also appealed to the state government and various associations to create a healthy work environment.
“We request you to create an environment where there are no vested interests, or caste, religious or gender differences,” the statement read.
Prominent actor Prithviraj and cinematographer Rajeev Ravi had also come out in support of the survivor, slamming the irresponsible decision made by AMMA.
AMMA also received a major backlash on social media, after many of its top members’ shocking and elusive comments on the issue.
After his arrest in July last year for masterminding the rape and abduction of a prominent Malayalam actor, Dileep was denied bail twice and he faced a massive public backlash soon after the arrest. However, since then, several prominent members of the Malayalam film industry have thrown their weight behind him, asserting that he could not have done what he stands accused of. This, even as the police investigation was underway.