Jai Bhim row: Director TJ Gnanavel apologizes to Vanniyar community, says 'it is unfair to hold Suriya responsible'

Published on Nov 22, 2021 11:03 AM IST

Jai Bhim stars Suriya as a lawyer who dedicates his life fighting for the oppressed without charging a single penny.

Suriya in a still from Jai Bhim. 
Suriya in a still from Jai Bhim. 

Filmmaker TJ Gnanavel has finally reacted to the ongoing controversy involving his latest release Jai Bhim and expressed regret over unintentionally hurting the sentiments of the Vanniyar community.

In his statement which he released on his Twitter page, Gnanavel said he takes full responsibility of the controversy and pointed out that it’s unfair to target Suriya.

Gnanavel said that his film is based on true events, and that he wanted to portray the pain of tribal people. He added that he didn’t anticipate some comments that the film received.

About the controversial calendar scene, Gnanavel said: “Our intention was not to represent any community through the shot of the calendar. It was only supposed to reflect the year 1995 the story is set in. It was a shot that appeared for just a few seconds on screen and completely went unnoticed in the post-production.”

Gnanavel added that even before the film was released on Amazon Prime, it was screened to a few people, and said that if the particular shot was pointed out by anyone, they would’ve removed it.

When the shot was identified after the movie released on November 1, it was immediately changed the next morning. Gnanavel said he hoped everyone would understand their intentions when they made the change.

Gnanavel further added: “As a director, I take full responsibility for whatever has happened. It is unfair to hold Suriya responsible for the controversy. I apologize to him and everyone.”

Also read: Jai Bhim row: Suriya thanks fans 'for standing by us' amid police protection at his Chennai house

Jai Bhim is a hard-hitting courtroom drama about the fight for the oppressed and caste-based discrimination. The film features Suriya in the role of real-life lawyer Chandru, who dedicated his life fighting for the oppressed without charging a single penny.

The film also stars Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Rajisha Vijayan and Lijo Mol Jose among others.

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