Singer Chinmayi Sripaada on Sunday called out reality television show Bigg Boss Tamil after a contestant joked about molesting women on public transport.
Actor Saravanan, in an interaction with actor-cum-politician Kamal Haasan, said that he used to take buses in college so that he could grope female passengers, NDTV reported. The audience responded with laughter and applause.
Sripaada, who was at the forefront of the #MeToo movement in the Tamil film industry, shared the footage from the show, saying that the channel had aired the man proudly declaring that he used the public transport to molest women. “And this is a joke,” she tweeted. “To the audience. To the women clapping. To the molester. Damn.” The clip has generated a lot of criticism from users on social media.
“I mean, do NONE of these people understand that millions of kids get molested on the bus?” the singer said in a statement. “And that it is traumatic?!! How is anyone supposed to get justice in a society like this that cheers molesters?” Sripaada also recalled an incident with a male acquaintance who had been molested by older men on buses.
Saravanan made the remark when Haasan was speaking about the problems faced by people who commute on public transport. He said that no one molests on purpose and that most of the commuters are in a rush to get to work, according to The Hindu. After he mentioned that there are a few commuters who take a bus to molest women, Saravanan responded saying that he was one of them.
Following this, Haasan laughed and recalled a dialogue from his movie Guna, saying “Avar adhaiyum thandi punidham aayitaar”, which, loosely translated, meant: “He [Saravanan] has gone beyond all that and has now become pure and holy.”
Earlier this week, another Bigg Boss contestant Meera Mithun had accused Tamil cinema director Cheran of manhandling her during one of the tasks on the show. After watching a clip to figure out whether the harassment claim was correct, Haasan said that such shoves inadvertently happen all the time.