- The union is headed by actor Radha Ravi, accused in the #MeToo movement
- Ms Sripaada was removed after she backed the women who accused him
- She has also been asked to apologise if she wants the membership back
Singer Chinmayi Sripaada, who had accused veteran poet-lyricist Vairamuthu of sexual harassment as part of the #MeToo movement, has been asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh to be taken back in the South Indian Cine Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union.
Ms Sripaada was removed from the dubbing union after she backed several women who spoke against actor Radha Ravi, who heads the body. Apart from the Rs. 1.5 membership charge, she has also been asked to apologise to the actor.
"Why should I apologise? The mindset needs to change. It seems to be a system that's emboldening the predator rather than emboldening the victim and giving her the right to work in a harassment-free environment," she told NDTV. "All these years I've been paying 10 per cent of my income to dubbing union," she said.
The vocalist says she is already witnessing a decline in work offers after she came out with the allegations.
Ms Sripaada said as per the rules of the dubbing union, the membership charge is Rs 2,500. "What is this random 1.5 Lakh fee + apology?" she said in a series of tweets.
Apparently I have to pay 1.5 Lakhs, send an apology letter and THEN the dubbing Union will reinstate me and let me work in Tamilnadu in Tamil films.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) December 28, 2018
The Union has made lakhs from my Income since 2006. And I have to pay 1.5 lakhs again for my right to work. https://t.co/JHt6ajU1D3
In October, Chinmayi Sripaada alleged the organisers of an event in Switzerland demanded she visited Vairamuthu at his hotel room alone where she was also accompanied by her mother. Later in Chennai, Chinmayi had alleged Vairamuthu sexually harassed her at his house.
Vairamuthu denied the allegations.
After Ms Sripaada's allegations against the poet-lyricist, several other women anonymously named Vairamuthu in their #MeToo accounts. Ms Sripaada also dismissed Vairamuthu's defence against the #MeToo claims, calling him a "liar".
Actor Radha Ravi has also denied allegations. He claimed it was retired Judge Vasuki, appointed by court, who had terminated Chinmayi ahead of union elections for non-payment of membership fee. Denying the Union was targeting Chinmayi for her #MeToo allegations, he added, "As far as 1.5 lakh is concerned, it's the basic membership fee, and not a fine. Anyone who wants to become a member, they pay 1.5 lakh. Now she's not our member. If she wants to join, she must join as a new number. The demand for apology is a decision of the union and not mine."
Chinmayi, rejecting Radha Ravi's claim, has already moved the Madras High Court. The big question, however, many are asking is whether the Tamil film industry is targeting Chinmayi for her #MeToo allegation than working to create a sexual harassment free environment for artistes.