Four actor-members of Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), including a sexual assault survivor, on Wednesday, resigned from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), protesting the association’s continued support to actor Dileep, the eighth accused in the assault case.
The actress who survived the assault said on WCC’s Facebook page that continuing as a member of AMMA was “meaningless” after the association extended support to the accused in the case.
According to the prosecution, Dileep hired the prime accused - Sunilkumar aka ‘Pulsar’ Suni – and was a key conspirator.
The actress was abducted and sexually assaulted by Suni in a moving car in Kochi, in February 2017. Actresses Rima Kallingal and Remya Nambeesan and actress-filmmaker Geethu Mohandas also resigned from AMMA, in solidarity with the survivor.
AMMA, on Sunday, decided to re-issue Dileep’s membership which it had revoked following his arrest in the case.
“I’m not resigning because AMMA has decided to reinstate the accused. This actor had earlier sabotaged my professional opportunities. The association did not initiate any serious action based on my complaint,” she said.
The WCC termed the move to reinstate Dileep “anti-women” and said AMMA shamed the survivor who was also one of its members. The collective questioned the decision since the accused was still facing trial in the case.
With the rift out in the open and serious allegations being made against AMMA, the focus has also turned to its new president, superstar Mohanlal.
The actresses’ rebellion is significant because they’ve highlighted AMMA’s failure in ensuring a woman-friendly workspace in the film industry. The WCC’s initiatives in this regard were also ridiculed using the “muscle power” of fans associations and on regressive stage shows organised by AMMA, they alleged.
The three women actors Rima Geethu and Ramya open revolt surprised many and evoked praises from social media.
Rima hoped her decision would help future generations of actresses to work with dignity and without compromises.
Geethu said it was difficult to question AMMA’s decisions while being a part of the association.