Padma Bhushan laureate Vairamuthu accused of sexual harassment, singer Chinmayi corroborates account
The #MeToo movement has reached the film industry in the south with lyricist Vairamuthi being accused of sexual harassment by many women, and singer Chinmayi backing the victi,’s account. Journalist Sandhya Menon and Chinmayi are sharing instances involving sexual harassment to call out harassers through their social media accounts and it was Sandhya who first shared this accusation on Twitter.
The woman who chose to stay anonymous recalled, “I was 18. I had to work with him for a project and he seemed nice. I respected him as he is a legend, famous poet, national award winner. In the pretext of explaining lyrics, he came to me, hugged me and kissed me. I did not what to do. I said OK sir, thank you and ran from his house.”
Chinmayi too shared this on Twitter and wrote, “The industry knows; the men know. #TimesUp. The time is bloody up.” In an interview to New Indian Express, Chinmayi said, “He is a serial predator. This has happened to multiple people.”
Since Chinmayi has corroborated the allegations against the lyricist, she has been bombarded on Twitter by multiple users asking why now, and some even suggesting that she is doing this for popularity. To this, she wrote, “No. I am very popular. I am a rockstar singer, entrepreneur and a dubbing artiste. Even if I say so myself. Please go away.”
One of the users even asked Chinmayi, “How did you anchor CCV audio launch and questioned him there as if nothing happened? Why did you not avoid it when you have been harassed by him?” She answered, “Because that is the system. We grin and bear it and work with predators around us and pretend as if nothing happened. If women don’t do it, we are ‘unprofessional’. Watch the audio launch to notice I did not ask him any questions and told Karthik to do it. That’s all we can do.
Since Chinmayi and Sandhya shared the first accusation against the lyricist, multiple women have anonymously come forward and one accusation also involves women from Vairamuthu’s hostel in Kodambakkam. The poet, who has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, is yet to respond.
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