Women in Cinema Collective(WCC) slammed actor-producer Vijay Babu and stated that his arrogance stemmed from his realisation that people are ready to hear him after he came out revealing the name of the victim. If the film fraternity failed to take action against him, a wrong message will be communicated to the society, WCC said in a statement.
"If they don't take action against people like him, such culprits will take advantage of the situation," WCC said.
Read WCC's statement shared on facebook here:
A week ago Kerala police registered a rape case against and issued a warrant for the arrest of actor/producer Vijay Babu. But he is not in custody yet – why? Because he is absconding. The Kerala Police have had to issue a lookout notice for him and there are doubts as to whether he might have left the country.
On 26th April, Vijay Babu conducted an FB Live that he had announced via an earlier FB post. All the while twirling his moustache like a B-grade film villain, he claimed that he respects the law of the land and then promptly went on to violate the same law of the land and publicly named the young woman actor who had filed the case. “Let this be a break to MeToo,” he said. Claiming that he was innocent and that he would file a counter case of defamation – he went on to deliberately name the young woman actor again several times, making sure she’d be the target of vicious social media mobs.
Vijay Babu taking the survivor's name illegally has opened doors for a mass social media attacks and shaming of the survivor .We request the Cyber Cell & the Vanitha Commission to act upon this urgently. This debasement of women through Social media is reaching it’s lowest depths. We urge the government to take responsibility for her safety . We request all authorities to take serious note and act.
And ...from the Malayalam film industry - the usual deafening silence. Industry associations that he is a member of are just quiet. No one from the industry wants to say anything about this powerful, well-connected man. And it is this very silence that makes sure more and more women are exploited and assaulted in the industry.
WCC is appalled at this silence. This silence from trade associations comes inspite of the recent judgement of the Kerala High Court directing them to implement the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2013 in the Malayalam film industry, in letter and spirit.
We demand that the Industry and all the allied Associations take a serious note of this and the membership of Vijay Babu in all Film Bodies be suspended until there is a verdict.
Unless they take action against him for his brazenly illegal act of victim shaming in public, their stand as industry organisations is problematic. The last time this debate happened - they claimed to ‘stand with the Survivor and pray for the Accused’. If they choose to stay silent now, should we assume that he is twirling his moustache and speaking on behalf of all of them?
WCC reiterates the need for the immediate implementation of the POSH Act in Malayalam film productions and a zero-tolerance policy to sexual harassment across the industry.