Rana Daggubati Slams Suraj, Backs Tamannaah, Nayanthara
Tamannaah (left) and Nayanthara (right). (Photo courtesy: <a href="http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/we-are-not-strippers-or-commodities-tamannaah-and-nayanthara-slam-director-s-misogyny-54827">The News Minute</a>)
Tamannaah (left) and Nayanthara (right). (Photo courtesy: The News Minute)

Rana Daggubati Slams Suraj, Backs Tamannaah, Nayanthara

“The Tamil audience want their money’s worth with actresses clad in skimpy clothes for glamour value.”

No, we didn’t say that. This comment came from Suraj, the director of the recently-released Tamil action-comedy film Kaththi Sandai, starring Vishal and Tamannaah.

At a promotional event for his movie, Suraj was asked about Tamannaah’s role in the movie. Here’s what he said:

We are a low-class audience. People give money to watch a hero fight, and a glamorous heroine. I don’t believe in a heroine clad in a saree. People are paying money, right? They are not watching a movie for free. They are paying money to watch Tamannah in a glamorous role. If they want to act, they can do that separately. But in commercial movies they have to sizzle and be glamorous.

There’s more. Suraj also revealed that he asks his costume designers to shorten the length of any costume that covers his heroines' knees.

“If the costume designer comes to me with the heroine’s clothes covering the knee, I tell them to shorten the length. They would repeatedly say that ‘madam would be upset’, but I insist and eventually get it done,” Suraj tells the interviewers.

This is surely not the first time that a filmmaker has made such sick, misogynistic comments, but in an industry that follows an Omerta code, actresses hardly speak out. Tamannaah, however, broke that code, releasing a statement on Monday condemning Suraj.

“This is 2016 and it is very ironic that I had to leave (watching) a film like Dangal in the middle which is on woman empowerment to tackle this issue. I am very hurt and angered by the comments made by my director Suraj and I would definitely want him to apologise, not only to me, but to all women in the industry.”

She also added:

We are actors, we are here to act and entertain the audience and should not at any point be objectified as commodities. I have been working in the South Indian film industry for over 11 years and have worn costumes which I have been comfortable with. It is sad that women in our country are spoken about so frivolously and I would like to tell my audiences that our industry should not be generalised by comments made by one such individual.

It was ‘female superstar’ Nayanthara, who first slammed Suraj, like a boss.

Nayanthara came down hard on the director saying actresses were not strippers who shed clothes for money.

Speaking to Sify, Nayanthara asked if Suraj would dare to speak about the working women in his family in a similarly degrading manner that he did about his heroines.

“A heroine wears skimpy clothes in commercial cinema only if she is comfortable and the script requires it. And which audience is he speaking about? Who would pay money to see heroines in bad light? Our audiences who look up to film stars are far more mature and respect women more than Suraj does,” she argued.

She emphasised that while she had also done her share of glamorous roles for commercial films but out of choice. “No one has the right to think that heroines can be taken for granted,” she said.

After the backlash, Suraj apologised to Tamannaah and other heroines saying that he did not mean to portray anyone in bad light or hurt their sentiments.

“Suraj is a Disgrace”

Actor Rana Daggubati also slammed the director for his sexist comments, calling him a “disgrace” to the film fraternity.

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