Music composer AR Rahman on Monday tweeted in support of the #MeToo movement and said he was shocked at some of the names of the victims as well as the alleged perpetrators. Rahman encouraged others with complaints to come forward but also cautioned against the misuse of a “new internet justice system”.
“I would love to see our industry become cleaner and respectful of women,” he wrote in a statement. “More power to all the victims coming forward!”
Rahman said he and his team were “committed to creating an environment where everyone finds a safe creative space to bring their best, evolve and succeed”. He added: “Social media offers great freedom for victims to speak up, however we should be careful in creating a new internet justice system, in case it’s misused.”
Tamil poet-lyricist Vairamuthu, who Rahman has worked with, is one of those accused of sexual harassment in recent days. Singer Chinmayi Sripaada has alleged that Vairamuthu had harassed her on two separate occasions. Vairamuthu has denied the allegations, and said that “spreading defamatory things about popular personalities is becoming a culture across the country”.
Rahman’s statement came soon after his sister, composer AR Raihanah, said in interviews that Vairamuthu’s behaviour is an “open secret” in the Tamil film industry but Rahman had no idea about it because he stays away from “gossip”.
Since October 5, dozens of women across professions have used social media to give detailed accounts of the sexual harassment and misconduct they faced. The #MeToo campaign has led to inquiries being set up in multiple organisations and the resignations of some men accused of harassment, including a Union minister.