Need stringent laws against casting couch, other problems in Mollywood: Justice Hema commission


“There is casting couch in the Malayalam film industry. Many had to undergo the painful experience of providing sexual favours to reach a respectable position in the industry. Most of the victims in such cases did not file police complaints,” the report said.

Justice Hema commission recommended stringent laws to solve the problems in Malayalam film industry.

The commission received statements that there was lobbying in Mollywood and that some men were forcing women to have sexual intercourse with them for opportunities in movies. The report also suggests that laws must be introduced to keep criminals away from movies.

The report has mentioned the common problems faced by women in the Malayalam movie industry. The panel recorded significant findings regarding human rights violations faced by women in shooting location and lack of facilities including toilet and changing rooms.

The commission pointed out, with evidence, the experiences of women who were subjected to sexual abuse. “There is casting couch in the Malayalam film industry. Many had to undergo the painful experience of providing sexual favours to reach a respectable position in the industry. Most of the victims in such cases did not file police complaints,” the report said.

The commission distinctly mentioned attack against women in cyber space and using cyber media. The panel pointed out about alcohol and drug abuse in the industry and the resulting use of adult language and assault.

The panel mentioned that several men and women showed aversion to speak during evidence collection while several refused to speak due to fear.

The commission has recommended strong solutions for the issues, most important of which is introduction of laws. The panel has also recommended imposing fine on those who do not follow the rules and banning those who violate the norms.

The Kerala government had formed the commission in July 2017, based on a memorandum from Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).

The committee, headed by Justice K. Hema was constituted to study matters regarding women in Malayalam film industry and their work condition. The panel submitted its report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after two-and-a-half years of investigation.

Actress Sharada, retired IAS officer K. B Walsala Kumari were the other members of the panel. The report also has recommendations by other members of the panel.

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