'Bad Women May Go To Bed': Kerala Actor-MP's Shocker On Casting Couch

"The Malayalam film industry is clean now and no such thing as casting couch exists in the industry," said MP Innocent Vareed Thekkethala.

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Innocent later said some of his comments had been misinterpreted


Thiruvananthapuram: 

Highlights

  1. He is the president of AMMA, an organisation for Malayalam film artistes
  2. Women In Cinema Collective, led by Manju Warrier, has condemned remark
  3. The lawmaker later clarified his remarks
Popular Kerala actor and Member of Parliament Innocent Vareed Thekkethala has been lambasted by women activists for saying on Wednesday that the "casting couch" does not exist in the Malayalam film industry, but "if the woman is bad, maybe they will go to bed".

The 72-year-old was responding to reporters when he said, "The Malayalam film industry is clean now and no such thing as casting couch exists in the industry... It is not like the yesteryear. The situation today is such that if there is any bad behaviour towards any women, the media will know immediately," before adding the offensive comment.

Wrong, said the Women In Cinema Collective (WCC), an organisation launched last month by women in the Malayalam film industry. In Facebook post the organisation challenged Mr Innocent saying, "New artists face several forms of sexual abuse while entering the film industry. Even our colleagues like Parvathy and Lakshmi Rai, have spoken about casting couch openly... We cannot accept the statement that the film industry is free from all kinds of sexual exploitation and there should be cautiousness in making statements in public."

The actor-politician later sought to clarify what he had said in a Facebook post, writing, "Some of my comments to the media have been misinterpreted and published in a way that I did not intend. What I intended to say was that the environment for women to work in the film industry has become more women-friendly than before. AMMA will continue to work against all anti-women practices in the industry."

Mr Innocent was elected to Parliament as an independent candidate with the support of the Left in 2014. He is also the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) - an umbrella organisation that includes all major film artists, including the superstars from Kerala.

The WCC, led by actress Manju Warrier, was launched after a Kerala actress was kidnapped and molested while travelling to Kochi for work earlier this year.


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