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MP Innocent's Remark on Casting Couch in Malayalam Cinema Triggers Row

Later in the day, the Member of Parliament from Kerala's Chalakudy constituency, cleared the air, saying his remarks had been "misinterpreted and published in some media in a way that I did not intent."

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Updated:July 5, 2017, 8:02 PM IST
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MP Innocent's Remark on Casting Couch in Malayalam Cinema Triggers Row
The "bad woman" remark, however, created an uproar, inviting trenchant criticism from Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) on Facebook. (CNN-News18 photo)
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Thrissur (Kerala): Actor-turned-politician Innocent on Wednesay claimed there is no casting couch in the Malayalam film industry, but a qualifier he added triggered a row.

"The Malayalam film industry is clean now and no such thing as casting couch exists in the industry... It is not like the yesteryear. The situation today is such that if there is any bad behaviour towards any women, the media will know immediately," he said, adding: "But if the woman is bad, maybe they will go to bed."

The "bad woman" remark, however, created an uproar, inviting trenchant criticism from Women's Collective in Cinema (WCC) on Facebook.

Innocent was addressing a press conference on Wednesday to deny media reports that he was quitting as president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).

"Even though we thank Innocent for the nice words he spoke about WCC, we are forced to strongly disagree with his remark that casting couches no longer exist here.

"Very recently only, our own members Parvathy and Lakshmi Rai have all spoken loudly on this topic. We want the newly appointed Justice Hema Commission to study the issues of women in the film industry to look into this aspect also," read the post.

WCC was formed last month by the women working in the various departments of the Malayalam film industry. It is led by actress Manju Warrier.

Bindu Krishna, state president of the Mahila Congress -- the women's wing of the Congress party -- said Innocent's statement is a shame and an insult to Kerala.

"Through this statement, he has proved that he does not have any respect and his position as AMMA president is not tenable. AMMA should be disbanded. For that, all those who have self respect, should come forward," said Krishna.

Later in the day, the Member of Parliament from Kerala's Chalakudy constituency, cleared the air, saying his remarks had been "misinterpreted and published in some media in a way that I did not intent."

In a Facebook post, he wrote: "What I intended to say was that in the film industry, a healthy and women-friendly atmosphere has been developed compared to the earlier years. It is a fact that social realities will get reflected in the film industry also." Innocent added that he never said that "there were no anti-women factors in the film industry".

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