Bitterness brews in Malayalam actors' forum

Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) President Mohanlal with actor Vineeth during the AMMA 25th Annual General body meeting, in Kochi, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), a forum of actors of Malayalam film industry, is yet to recover from the aftershocks of the stand taken, allegedly, in favour of an actor who was accused in the sexual assault on another leading south Indian actress.

It was just a section of women in AMMA who came out in the open last year against the male domination in the decision making bodies of the association. Now more resentment is brewing against the moves to amend the by-laws of the association. As a result, the general body of AMMA that met on Sunday was even forced to put on hold moves to amend the by-laws. 

Even a senior actor like Mammootty has been learnt to have backed the concerns of the dissenting women, forcing the general body led by Mohanlal to put on hold the by-law amendments, which included giving ultimate powers to three members in the executive committee and provisions to take action against anyone openly criticising the association.

The trouble started in AMMA last year after the decision to revoke the suspension of actor Dileep, who was arraigned for conspiring in the sexual assault of a leading south Indian actor in a car allegedly to settle personal scores. With the victim actress deciding to quit AMMA in protest, three other leading actresses, Geethu Mohandas, Reema Kallingal and Remya Nambeesan, also quit AMMA alleging that the forum did not stand with the victim, but favoured the accused.

Following a legal fight by the dissident members, which included senior actors like Revathy, AMMA was even forced to form an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to look into complaints of sexual assault at the workplace. But even then differences remain over the representation of women in the committee.

Revathy and Parvathy attended the general body meeting on Monday, and raised their objections against the amendments, while Padmapriya expressed her resentment through e-mail. Many senior members like Mammooty, Joy Mathew and Shammy Thilakan were learnt to have backed the concerns of the women. 

While a section wanted to re-induct the women members who quit the association, the association leadership insisted on fresh membership applications from them. However, Mammootty suggested that even membership fee should not be collected for re-inducting them.

Mohanlal told media that since more suggestions on by-law amendments came up, the final decision would be taken only after more discussions.

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