The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), led by actor Mohanlal, came under fire on Saturday from the Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) over the way the kidnapping case of an actress is being handled.
The WCC was formed last year by women drawn from various sectors of the film industry to fight for their cause, after they found that AMMA was not protecting their interests.
Actor Dileep is an accused in a kidnapping case that took place last year. The actor was in jail for 85 days and is now out on bail.
The WCC alleges that AMMA has not supported the victim, whereas Dileep has got all the backing.
Leading actress Revathy on Saturday said that many like her were shocked to hear Mohanlal address them as mere actresses.
"It really hurt us very much... he could have mentioned us by our name. We have now realized that AMMA's executive committee is taking us for a ride and is not serious about the victim getting justice in the kidnapping case," said Revathy, adding AMMA should be handled by responsible people.
Trouble stared soon after Mohanlal took over as AMMA President in June. He took Dileep back into the AMMA fold, prompting leading actresses, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas quitting the AMMA in protest. Another 14 members announced their decision to quit, citing lack of fairness.
At Saturday's press meet, Revathy, Padmapriya, Parvathy and the three actresses who quit AMMA and a few others were also present.
The decision on Dileep's status has been left to the next general body meeting of AMMA.
"They (AMMA) use by-laws when they find it useful for their requirements and when it comes to our needs, they cling on by-laws," said Parvathy.
Revathy said things are not clean in the Malayalam film industry, adding she was shocked to see a 17-year-old young girl knocking at her door and complaining about the way she was exploited.
"I will not name her, but things are bad in the industry," said Revathy.
She said that none should take the actresses lightly, and that they would continue to expose the goings-on in the industry.
Beena Paul, who is vice-chairman of the state-run Kerala State Chalachitra Acadmey, said their intention is not to shame the industry.
"There are so many stories of victimization... slowly these will come out," Ms Paul said.