Chinmayi, Shruti pay heavy price for #MeToo

Chinmayi, Shruti pay heavy price for #MeToo

Singer Chinmayi Sripada has just been expelled from the dubbing artistes’ union, while Kannada actor Sruthi Hariharan is facing subtle and not-so-subtle hostility.

Sruthi Hariharan in ‘Tesla.’ She has accused actor Arjun Sarja of sexual misconduct.

Artistes who called out influential men during the #MeToo movement are paying a price: they are now losing out on assignments.

Chinmayi is tweeting about her woes from the US.

Singer Chinmayi Sripaada has just been cast out of the Dubbing Union in Chennai for naming lyricist Vairamuthu as a sexual predator. That means she can no longer lend her spoken voice to women on the big screen.

Kannada actor Sruthi Hariharan, who accused star Arjun Sarja of sexual misconduct during the shooting of their film ‘Vismaya’, says the rumour mills have been working overtime to tarnish her image and career.

Close family and friends of Chinmayi say she continues to receive threat calls. The dubbing union says Chinmayi was sent out because she hadn’t paid her membership fee for two years.

“She could have been reminded about it but expelling her is an extreme step that will affect her career. It’s also not fair because she is one among the most sought-after singers in the Tamil film industry,” says a dubbing artiste, who was also expelled for standing by Chinmayi. He says many of those expelled have been denied the opportunity to ask questions or explain.

He is optimistic, though, that the assignments will come back. “There are people working overtime to ensure that we don’t get jobs in the Tamil film industry. But those who have known our work will offer us jobs,” he says.


A member of Chinmayi’s family says, “She has pulled herself into this mess and she will fight her way out of it. But what suffers is the music and the growth of the industry.”

In Shruti’s case, the hostility has not taken an official form yet, although she has filed a police case against Arjun Sarja, and he has filed a defamation case against her. “If all this affects my career, it reaffirms our point of this being a patriarchal society,” she told Metrolife.

 Reacting to the rumours that she has been expelled from some projects, Sruthi says, “They are saying I have been removed because I have to walk in and out of the courts. I find this reasoning preposterous because court cases take years together.”

Actor Sanjjanaa named a director and then apologised.

Some of Sruthi’s friends have turned against her after she spoke out against Arjun. A close friend says, “Some male

actors she has worked with were calling up people and asking them

not to support Sruthi. This was shocking. But also, there were many well-known actors who supported her.”

Sruthi says she trusts her directors and if they have a problem because of the case, they will let her know directly before she hears it from some newspaper or channel.

 Sanjjanaa Galrani, another Kannada actor, had alleged Ravi Srivastava, who directed her debut film ‘Ganda Hendathi,’ forced her to do kissing scenes that went beyond what was planned in the script.

She later apologised, in deference to senior actor Ambareesh who intervened. A source close to her says, “The trolls and abusive messages didn’t bother her, and she has the satisfaction of having spoken her mind.”

Chinmayi, currently in the US for a show, shared on Twitter news about her expulsion from the dubbing artistes’ union.“So given to understand that I have been terminated from the dubbing union. Which means I can no longer dub in Tamil films henceforth? The reason stated is that I haven’t paid ‘subscription fees’ for 2 years though this hasn’t stopped them from taking 10 per cent off my dubbing income,” she tweeted.

ALSO READ: Now, working class women join the #MeToo movement

Now, #MeToo hits Sandalwood music industry

#MeToo rage through Bollywood continues

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