How Chinmayi Inspired More Women From The South To Come Out With Their #MeToo Stories

Chinmayi's courage through trying press conferences has helped other women like Sruthi Hariharan & Lakshmy Ramakrishnan to speak out against harassment.

After the #MeToo movement engulfed Bollywood, the Indian stand-up comedy scene and cast a shadow over many reputed journalists, the fire has spread down south in the Tamil and Kannada film industries. After singer Chinmayi Sripada spoke out against veteran lyricist Vairamuthu, things have dragged with few actions having meaning. Few establishments have even approached the accused for a response to the allegations.

Fellow actors Siddharth and Prakash Raj backed Chinmayi’s allegations saying that it was at least worth investigating, after others like Sindhuja (musician) came out with similar experiences, involving the veteran lyricist.

The latest to back Chinmayi’s allegations is composer/playback singer Reihana, where she appeared on a talk show saying that she believed the women speaking out against Vairamuthu, because she had been hearing these stories for a long time. Reihana is AR Rahman’s sister, someone Vairamuthu has collaborated with since the days of Roja (1992) to as recent as O Kadhal Kanmani (2015).

The continuous courage displayed by Chinmayi through trying press conferences has helped other women come out with allegations of their own. Kannada actor Sruthi Hariharan has alleged that Arjun Sarja has inappropriately run his hand down her back. Even though Sarja categorically denied the allegations, several anonymous voices back Hariharan’s claims stating that many extras on film sets had to deal with Sarja’s advances. Interestingly, even Hariharan had to deal with a hostile press conference, where she kept her cool through many vile questions like – why was she speaking about it only now?

Actor Lakshmy Ramakrishnan alleges harassment against Tamil movies PR Nikkil Murugan, for ‘crossing the line of modesty’ several times during their interactions. Ramakrishnan has alleged that Murugan asked her for sexual favours, and even alleged that she missed out on attending the Filmfare awards because she wasn’t in his good books.