In October, Malayalam actor Shane Nigam began a crusade (of sorts) by cutting his hair. Best-known for his role as Bobby in Kumbalangi Nights, the actor posted a video alleging death threats from producer Joby George. Denying these allegations, George alleged that Nigam was asking for a higher remuneration and that he had violated his contract by changing his hairstyle & shaving his beard during the production of Veyil.
The matter seemed to have been mediated by the Association Of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), during which Nigam & George appeared before the media and shook hands. George apologised for his comments about Nigam’s family, and… all seemed well. Until, Veyil director Sarath Menen spoke to Manorama, where he criticised his leading man’s lack of discipline. “Shane Nigam is an incredibly talented actor. But how can I not complain if he continues to behave like this”, he was quoted. In response to this, Nigam posted an Instagram video about how the director had made some last-minute changes to the schedule, and overworked him.
After this, the Kerala Film Producers’ Association announced that they were scrapping three films, starring Nigam. They also held a press conference, where they criticised the unprofessional attitude of new-gen actors, involving rampant drug abuse on film sets. KFPA president M. Renjith encouraged a probe by the Excise department, about the alleged drug abuse on Malayalam film sets.
— Maneesh Narayanan (@maneeshnarayan) December 2, 2019
Speaking to TheNewsMinute about being chucked out of three films, Nigam was quoted as “I went to talk to them about why I protested. I spoke to the same producers’ association that’s been telling me for the past four days not to speak to the media and to delete my Instagram account. Till last evening, Anto Joseph, Siyad Koker and Maha Subair were telling me there’s no hurry, no problem. They said I was their boy and there was no issue, that they have no intention of suppressing me. I don’t know who to call and ask about this sudden decision.”
KFPA has since announced that the ban on Shane Nigam has been lifted, and that he would go on to work on – Veyil, Kurbani & Ullasam. Meanwhile KFPA’s treasurer, Rakesh B, welcomed random checks on film sets if it meant cutting down on drug abuse. “There is a lot of drug abuse happening, especially among new-age actors. There is suspected use of hard drugs and new substances which cannot be detected through smell. It is not like earlier when actors would smoke marijuana. We do not have any proof or any names now. But we will cooperate fully with the Kerala police if they decide to take action,” he said.