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Chandaraa Productions recently dropped Amala Paul from their upcoming movie, VSP33. In a strongly worded letter, she alleges they did so after watching the Aadai teaser, that features a nude shot of her.
The trailer for Aadai dropped recently, and actor Amala Paul has received much praise for the same. It is being said that the character she plays is a “game changer” for her professionally. A shot in the teaser features her nude –a choice that many are calling bold and audacious.
However, not everyone is impressed and certainly not the makers of VSP33, in which Amala Paul was to work alongside Vijay Sethupathi. She has been dropped from the film unceremoniously, and she is unhappy about it, not just because she was dropped but also because of the rumours about her professionalism.
Chandaraa Productions allege that Amala is “production unfriendly,” however in an open letter that she posted to Twitter, Amala provides numerous instances in which she accommodated all sorts of demands from producers. “Until now, I have only pushed the production to prioritise in bringing the movie at its best form and put my needs as the last priority,” she says about her experience working on Aadai.
She further says that she was terminated from the movie via a text message and that the producer never spoke to her before making the decision. In her opinion, the real reason for her been dropped is the teaser of Aadai.
“This brouhaha doesn’t make sense to me. The only thing that sounds vaguely plausible is that he took this decision after the release of ‘Aadai” teaser. It’s just a patriarchal, egoistic, traditional mindset of Chandaraa Arts Production that this is happening right after the release of Aadai teaser and my image is being sabotaged with multiple baseless rumours that are mischievously being floated around in the industry,” she wrote.
Further, speaking about the need for production houses to honour an actor’s emotional investment into a movie, she said, “Tamil Nadu deserves good cinema and that will only happen when this large set of traditional, patriarchal production houses change their mindset.”
This may sound like a case of sour grapes, but peeling back the layers gives a starker picture. Just like Bollywood, or other regional cinema in India, the Tamil film industry, even with its female oriented movies, is steeped in misogyny and patriarchy.
If Amala Paul’s removal from VSP33 is due to her choice to go nude for a scene in Aadai, then it is a clear case of harassment, not too different from what regular women face in their workplaces. Rumours are often spread about successful women, and they are shamed in an attempt to “put them in their place.” This can lead to them losing out on opportunities professionally.
This is why Amala Paul’s calling out the producers is a big deal. At the time of writing this post, they are yet to respond publicly to her statement.
Image source: YouTube
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Vijayalakshmi Harish is a book blogger and writer. To paraphrase her librarian, she is a
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