Telugu film body president Shivaji Raja says they would look into the allegations of sexual harassment
The Hush Post: The Movie Artistes’ Association (MAA), a body of the Telugu film industry, has lifted the ban on TV presenter-turned actress Sri Reddy who shot to limelight after her recent strip protest against the alleged casting couch menace in the Telugu film industry popularly known as Tollywood and the alleged sexual exploitation of female actors.
The MAA action came after the suuo motu cognizance taken by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday of Sri Reddy’s allegations about sexual exploitation and an alleged casting couch menace in the Telugu film industry, NDTV reported on Friday.
The Movie Artists’ Association (MAA) also has decided to set up a Committee Against Sexual Harassment which would meet once after every three months, the report said.
MAA President Shivaji Raja reportedly said this committee would look into the complaints of sexual harassment. Raja reportedly said the committee would be comprised of senior actors and filmmakers of Telugu film industry.
Earlier, the NHRC had sent notices on Thursday to the Telangana government and the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry over Reddy’s allegations, report said.
The NHRC had taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the allegations raised by Sri Reddy and a lack of grievance redressal mechanism for women in the Telugu film industry.
TV presenter-turned actress Sri Reddy had created a stir with her topless protest against the alleged casting couch in Tollywood in front of the office of Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce in Hyderabad last Saturday.
Reddy had also questioned the Telangana government and Movie Artistes’ Association about the absence of any committee to take up the cases of sexual harassment in the Tollywood.
Earlier, the Telugu film body had not only refuted the allegations levelled by Sri Reddy but had also declared that she would not be given its membership in any circumstances. The MAA also said that action would be taken against any artiste who shares screen space with Reddy.
After the NHRC’s observation, MAA President said they had no grudge against Reddy but as her allegations had hurt the artistes, it had been decided to impose a ban on her.
Raja said that all 900 MAA members were free to work with Sri Reddy.