By Chandni Shah
If you thought the AMMA-Dileep- WCC controversy has blown over, boy were you wrong. Here’s a quick recap of the controversy itself. The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), an association of Malayalam film actors, quickly removed actor Dileep when his arrest regarding the abduction of a Malayalam actor came to light in July last year. He was allegedly a co-conspirator in the abduction and assault of a female actress. However, after a few changes such as Dileep being granted bail in October 2017 and Mohanlal becoming the President in June 2018, they wanted to reinstate Dileep back to his post, to which he refused, adding that he would come back after he proved his innocence. The whole incident of the abduction led to the creation of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC). This creation, and the demands of the WCC, were quite a shock to the traditional (read patriarchal) AMMA. I mean how can women want protection for women in the cinema industry?
A lot has been said about the controversy, even if not a lot has been done by AMMA. Most news channels have been vocal about their opinions on it, even if subtly, like this Indian Express article, which was supportive of the WCC. What caught out attention, however, is this not-so-subtle article and headline by the English version of Manorama Online. The article, whose headline said “AMMA unlikely to give into WCC tantrums”, was criticized widely for its headline and taken down after the backlash.
Now, while the WCC is doing some kickass work, like resigning from AMMA as protest against everything that is happening, media channels like the Manorama are putting out headlines like this. What we would like to know, Manorama, is what is this tantrum that you speak of? Do you honestly believe that women not wanting someone who has been involved in a case of assault as a member of one of the biggest associations of Malayalam actors is a tantrum?
The headline of any article is a pretty clear indicator of its stance, and Manorama’s headline makes theirs clear as day.. The WCC are made to look like tantrum throwing babies, instead of the group of highly accomplished actors that they are. Although the actual article, is just facts stated, the headline gives away their nasty bias..
This is also a nice time to point out that, Manorama’s channel Mazhavil Manorama, telecasted the annual Mazhavil Azhakil AMMA skit, which was centred around a “Whatsapp Sthree Shakthikaranam” (WSS) for women empowerment and featured women fawning over Mohanlal and Mammootty, this time around, was an obvious mockery of the WCC,.
After the immense criticism that the article received, Manorama decided to take it down, but what was it doing up in the first place? Has the 128-year old organization lost touch with the times? Or did it think that it could get away with it? Well, this isn’t the 1940s “Man-orama”, and your irritating headlines will be called out.