Four female actors are showing the world how to stand up for what’s right in the face of intense resistence, and the world would be a much better place if we could emulate them. This morning, the core members of Women in Cinema Collective put out a statement regarding their decision to resign from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA). Their statement followed the AMMA’s decision to reinstate actor Dileep back into the powerful organisation, after a brief suspension.
In February of 2017, much before the world was forced to deal with #MeToo and its repurcussions, news broke of the abduction and alleged sexual assault of an actress from the Malayalam industry. The actress, who was held her against her will in her own car by the men as she was returning from a shoot from Angamaly, Ernakulam, was filmed by the men as she was molested. As per police reports, it was later suggested that it was actor Dileep who had conspired to have her abducted as revenge. This had caused major backlash and soon after several actresses joined hands to form the Women in Cinema Collective. Apart from the survivor, actresses Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambeesan and director Geetu Mohandas have resigned from the AMMA.
In her note on the WCC’s Facebook page, the survivor wrote: “Prior to this, this actor has snatched away opportunities of acting from me. When I had complained at that time, AMMA did not act seriously on my complaint. And when such a terrible incident happened, an organisation that I am also a part of tried to protect the man who has been accused of the crime. Realising that there is no purpose in being a part of such an organisation, I hereby resign.”
The post also contained notes from the three other actors who had tendered their resignation to the AMMA. Rima Kallingal, who has been vocal against the AMMA for quite a while now said, “What happened right now is not a problem that can be confined to a single person or a single organisation. I’m not leaving ‘AMMA’ for just this one problem. I’m leaving with the hope that the next generation will be able to courageously continue with full self respect and without making any compromises.”
We have reached out to AMMA, WCC and Rima Kallingal for comment. The copy will be updated once they respond.