Actor Mansoor Ali Khan’s repulsive statement regarding co-star Trisha has kicked up a storm on social media. Many have taken to X to condemn the actor who said he had hoped there would be bedroom scenes with Trisha in the recently hit film 'Leo'. However, Mansoor Ali Khan is not the only actor from the Indian film industry who has made such vile remarks about their colleagues.
Recently, actor and comedian Robo Shankar crossed the limits when he publicly shamed his 'Partner' co-star Hansika Motwani by saying he was not allowed to touch her, though Aadhi, who played the lead in 'Partner' was permitted to do so. “It's the privilege of being a hero,” he had said, leaving Motwani visibly shaken and furious.
A few weeks ago, actor Cool Suresh angered netizens when he forcefully garlanded a co-anchor during the music launch of the film 'Cargo'. Interestingly, Mansoor Ali who was present at the function had called out the actor for such an act, following which Cool Suresh apologized.
Such incidents have been rampant in the film industry for some years now. Disturbingly, most of these remarks are passed by actors during the promotion of their films. In 2019, veteran actor and politician Radha Ravi landed in trouble after he passed sexist remarks about superstar Nayanthara during the trailer launch of her film 'Kolaiyuthir Kaalam'. He cast aspersions on Nayanthara's character and argued that Nayanthara is someone who will do any role, be it as Sita or a ghost.
“Earlier, we would search for actors like K R Vijaya to act as a goddess. But it has changed now. Anyone can do such roles these days. We can cast someone who is devotional or even someone who is inviting,” he said. The remark was condemned largely by the film industry and even Nayanthara came out with a two-page statement calling Radha Ravi out for misogyny.
Not only veterans, even younger actors like Satish has landed in a soup, when he openly mocked his 'Oh My Ghost' co-star Dharsha Gupta's dressing choice at the film's promotional event. “Sunny Leone has come all the way from Bombay to Tamil Nadu, and look at how beautifully she has dressed for the event. On the other hand, we have a girl from Coimbatore, Dharsha Gupta. I am just pointing out how superbly she (Sunny) is dressed according to our culture,” he had said.
Such incidents and remarks, all made in bad taste, need to stop. But will the film industry, which has witnessed a rampant rise of sexist remarks in the past, be ever free of sexism and misogyny? Will female actors constantly feel harassed or insecure, especially during such film promotions?
Singer Chinmayi Sripaada, who had openly shamed Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu for sexual harassment in the past, says the Internal Complaints Committee is the need of the hour to address such complaints. “ICC in film industry. Years of asking for it has only fallen on deaf ears,” she wrote on X.