Parvathy found herself being threatened by rape, acid attack and comments that her filmy career in Malayalam industry would soon be over all because she voiced her opinion on the misogyny that has settled in a comfortable nook in pop culture and movies.
After watching the film, Parvathy said, “Kasaba was a movie which I unfortunately watched. I was definitely disappointed to watch an actor par excellence, who happened to say certain dialogues which were not only derogatory but also most saddening to a woman in a scene.”
After its release in 2016, Kasaba faced flak from several quarters for scenes in which Mammootty verbally abused women. In one such scene, Mammootty grabbed a policewoman by her belt and threatened to beat her so severely, she would start menstruating. We’d clap if we weren’t gagging.
Parvathy’s comments could have paved the way for a much-needed conversation on misogyny, but instead, the actress got incessantly trolled and abused for days. Mammootty’s fans took to social media to ‘avenge’ their hero, by threatening her with dire consequences on her social media pages.
What followed was hashtags like #FeminichiSpeaking, #OMKV and #StandUpStars, took over Twitter. She was called a ‘cheap feminist’ and one troll sent her a message that read, “We’re planning to rape you. Be ready. #Avanodoppam”.
Parvathy got a lot of support from women however, and even noted writer and politician Shashi Tharoor condemned the incident in a tweet. Parvathy ultimately lodged a police complaint against the trolls, and two men were arrested by Kerala Police.
What rankled even more than the actions of the trolls was the silence of Mammootty. The superstar, when he finally deemed to respond, said, “I don’t go after any controversy. What we need are meaningful debates. I have not assigned anyone to respond on my behalf or defend me.”
Hunh. What? You don’t go after controversies? Is that code for, ‘I refuse tick off my fans’? The succinct statement, that covered not one issue satisfactorily, made no mention of the allegations of misogyny against Kasaba. Or how foul-mouthed and inappropriate the behaviour of his fandom was.
In the interview, Mammootty also revealed that Parvathy had told him about the incident when it was just beginning to blow up, but he was abroad. Was he travelling in the 1950s without any access to social media to send out a strong message to cut the abusive trolling short?
Earlier this year, Tamil actor Vijay’s fans had become so abusive towards a female journalist for criticising his film, that she had to file a case to get them to stop. Seems to be quite a popular trend, doesn’t it?