LGBTQI activists protest Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu
They felt that the film objectifies the community as sex objects
Transgender activist-politician-TV host Apsara Reddy along with Chennai Dost, an LGBTQI support group, held a protest at the Tamil Film Producers Council on Tuesday against last week's release, Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu, as she feels "the film objectifies the LGBT community as sex objects and portrays virgin women as cheap sex-starved beings".
Apsara tells us, "We've approached the Chennai Commissioner of Police, AK Viswanathan, with a complaint against the film. Actor Vishal had actually told us he'd come to the Council, but didn't turn up. However, I hope he will extend his support."
Apsara says the film mocks homosexuals. "Indirectly the film says it's alright to treat them in a bad way, which amounts to a violation of human rights. Films influence people's thoughts. Does the director know the amount of bullying that they deal with -- starting from schools to being a part of this society? Due to media’s projection of them, people have developed a feeling of disgust towards transgender persons. There are many who are educated, and successful in life."
Expressing her disappointment, she further adds, "Gautham is the son of a renowned actor like Karthik. How can he endorse such humour? I tried calling him. There was no response!"
The Chairman of Chennai Dost, Sasha, points out another issue: The lack of representation of transwomen in the Censor Board. "We demand a public apology and deletion of the derogatory scenes in the film. Tamil cinema has been constantly portraying negative stereotypes against transgender persons."
Director Santhosh P Jayakumar is unapologetic. "I was talking about a single person in the film. There was also a disclaimer in the beginning which read that all characters in the film are fictional. I didn't use the word 'gay' anywhere for a community to take offence," he says.
Santhosh also says it's high time people viewed entertainment as entertainment. "It's an adult horror comedy, and we've been promoting the film that way. When Censor Board was okay with it, I don't understand why some people create unnecessary ruckus. If the film had shown someone in bad light, the Censor Board members would have raised objections. Did the film advocate rape? Absolutely not! Did the film advocate murders? No."
Apsara has also submitted a petition against the film to the District Legal Services Authority Judge, Dr I Jayanthi, who has apparently promised to summon the director after thorough investigation.