Tamil singer and dubbing artiste Chinmayi Sripaada, who has accused Tamil poet-lyricist Vairamuthu of sexually harassing her, on Friday said the dubbing artistes union had demanded Rs 1.5 lakh and an apology letter from her to be reinstated. She accused the South India Cine and Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union of unfair treatment and casual misogyny.
In October, Sripaada had backed others’ sexual harassment accusations against Vairamuthu and union’s president Radha Ravi. In November, she had announced that the union had removed her over the purported non-payment of subscription fees for two years.
On Friday, she said the union had demanded an apology letter from her to be allowed to work in Tamil films. “The union has made lakhs [of rupees] from my income since 2006,” she tweeted. “And I have to pay 1.5 lakhs again for my right to work.”
The singer questioned why she was being “forced to apologise” to the union and Ravi. She said the union’s laws state Rs 2,500 is the fee for new members. “What is this random Rs 1.5 lakh fee and apology,” Sripaada questioned.
She also criticised the union’s female members for their apparently sexist comments at a press conference last week. She shared a clipping of the press conference. “If you complain of sexual harassment, quit the industry and go work as a housemaid (in precisely 10 houses),” Sripaada quoted one of the female members as saying while other women on the panel applauded.
Sripaada said the message being sent to anyone who criticises the industry is “stay silent, or else.”