'Had I Been a Girl, I'd Have Raped Mammootty': Why are People Defending Director Mysskin’s Rape Joke?
Not that rape jokes were funny, ever.
Not that rape jokes were funny, ever.
It’s 2018 – and rape jokes just aren’t funny anymore. Not that they were ever funny to begin with.
But film director Mysskin, it seems, did not get the memo.
At the launch of the trailer for his new movie, “Peranbu” in Chennai, Mysskin made a speech, applauding Malyali actor Mammootty for his acting in the film.
Mysskin delves into great depths and details about Mammootty’s performance, going so far as to suggested that if someone from the Tamil industry had attempted to perform the role, they would have spoilt it by over-acting.
Not satisfied with his compliment, he decided to praise Mammootty a little more. “You can keep watching Mammootty sir throughout this film. If he had been younger and he had been a woman, I might have fallen in love with him. Had I been a girl, I'd have raped him actually. Such a fabulous acting," the director said.
It gets worse. No one from the audience outraged over Mysskin's comment. They, in fact, laughed and applauded.
You’d think that making such a comment would result in immediate backlash and disgust, but the video shows quite the opposite.
Thankfully, some on social media decided to call him out.
#Mysskin's distasteful statement doesn't fall under 'just a joke' category. Oh man, rape jokes aren't funny. CAN NEVER BE. Survivors of sexual violence deserve respect and support. Please don't tweet, 'come on, he of course, didn't really mean it'.
— Subhakeerthana (@bhakisundar) July 16, 2018
Is this even a worthy manner of appreciating Mammootty? What is so funny in #mysskin saying he would’ve raped #Mammootty had he been a girl? Role reversal?? Its not a compliment to either the mega star or any woman. Also - One can praise an actor without having to decry another. https://t.co/ov2mMMI1s0 — SujathaNarayanan (@N_sujatha08) July 16, 2018
This is not a fucking joke. Rape is not a joke. Rape is not an expression of love or admiration. @dir_Mysskin this is disgraceful. Retract your statement and apologise. #Mysskin #Mammootty #Peranbu #PeranbuAudioLaunch #PeranbuAudioFromToday https://t.co/gnVLTqafqt
— Vishal Muralidharan (@Silverblood711) July 16, 2018
But mind you, the apologists are amongst us as well.
#Mysskin - "@mammukka has set an example on how 'not to act' in #Peranbu. His reaction to the moment when his girl child attains puberty is a very important frame in Indian cinema. It's a grt decision by #Ram to rope him in, and not go for Tamil actors who would've 'acted' well"— Kaushik LM (@LMKMovieManiac) July 16, 2018
But it brings up the question – why does Mysskin's comment, which is not only not funny, but also disgusting and crass, need justification? Do we still need to yell why rape jokes are not jokes, and they are NOT funny?
Later in the speech, Mysskin said that he wishes to say something "controversial" so that the film would become a hit. If this was his attempt at controversial, not only was it terribly misplaced, but also a shallow shot.
And, this comes at a time when people are actively trying to address the gender-based discrimination that exists.
Mammootty, the actor, who Mysskin was praising, himself comes from the Malyalam film industry, where recently a prominent actress reported a case of sexual assault against actor Dileep in June last year, that had received a lot of attention and questioned cinema practices.
Mysskin’s comment is not debatable at all. Rape jokes are never funny. Period.
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