On Monday, 12 October, Parvathy Thiruvothu took to social media to announce her resignation from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) citing remarks made by the film body’s general secretary Edavela Babu about a fellow female actor.
In an interview with a local news channel Babu was asked whether Bhavana would have a role in the sequel of Twenty:20, a film being produced by AMMA. To which he had replied, "Currently Bhavana is not part of AMMA. She did a good role in the first part. However, we cannot bring back the dead. We can include actors who are associated with AMMA".
Later, Babu claimed he was referring to Bhavana’s character in Twenty:20 who had apparently ‘died’, even though the movie doesn’t clarify whether she passed away.
Following this Parvathy wrote in a Facebook post, "In 2018, when my friends resigned from AMMA, I stayed back thinking at least a few should continue to work within a broken system and help repair it. But after watching AMMA General Secretary speak to Reporter TV’s Nikesh Kumar, I have abandoned all hope that anything will ever change within this association. His utterly disgusting and mortifying remark comparing a woman member who had been badly let down by this organisation and consequently left it, to a dead person is beyond correction.”
The actor added, "Mr. Babu may believe he just used a metaphor, but it shows his nauseating attitude and I pity him. I am sure that when the media starts discussing this remark, many of his peers will support him. I’m certain about this because of the way they have always dealt with issues pertaining to women".
Rima Kallingal, Geethu Mohandas and Remya Nambeessan had quit AMMA in June 2018 after the film body under Mohanlal's leadership had reinstated expelled actor Dileep amid objections from the WCC (Women in Cinema Collective).
Dileep has been accused of masterminding the abduction and sexual assault of a prominent woman actor in the film industry. The Malayalam film industry has since been split into those who back Dileep and those who have extended their support to the survivor and the WCC.
Edavela Babu had previously told the police that the survivor had spoken about Dileep depriving her of opportunities in the film industry due to a grudge. However, he recently turned into a hostile witness in court. When asked about this in the interview, Edavela Babu said, "The police did not read out my statement to me. It was not written before me." He also claimed that he had said earlier that the police version of his statement was untrue, and that while the survivor might have orally discussed many issues with him, a written complaint was never submitted to AMMA.
(With inputs from The News Minute)