Even as criticism of the Association of Malayalam Movie Actors (AMMA) over its treatment of the issue of sexual harassment refuses to ebb, Mohanlal, president of the association, has stoked the fire saying in an interview that the #MeToo campaign in a fad that will die down.
Speaking to the Malayala Manorama newspaper’s website, Mohanlal said, “There is no big problem in the Malayalam industry. In fact, #MeToo is turning into something of a fashion. Anything like that will have a life span for a bit and then disappear.”
The actor was speaking on the eve of his charity event, Onnanu Nammal, for victims of the recent floods in Kerala, to be held in Dubai.
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Malayala Manorama further quoted the actor as saying, “Sexual misconduct can happen anywhere in life, not just in the film industry. Honestly, I cannot make a comment on #MeToo. You can talk about it only when you experience it. Otherwise there is no point in commenting.”
In another video interview to the Gulf News daily, the actor can be seen joking that even “actors can come up with a #MeToo campaign”.
As president of AMMA, Mohanlal was criticized for reinstating Dileep, accused in the case of abductation and molestation of an actress, into the association. Dileep had been expelled from AMMA in July 2017 after his name came up in the case.
The association was questioned by the Women in Cinema Collective and had to face the resignation of several female members in protest against the decision. The collective also accused the association of being ‘unresponsive and being ‘in support’ of the accused.
Under pressure, the association demanded a resignation from Dileep earlier in October.
More recently, a casting director accused actor-MLA Mukesh of sexual harassment. However, Mukesh has denied the charges.