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Shankar's 'I' was distinctly homophobic in the portrayal of a transgender make-up artist

Ojas Rajani, a popular real-life transgender make-up artist portrays a similar role role in 'I'.

Prajakta Hebbar | imsopraj

Updated:January 19, 2015, 6:38 PM IST
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Shankar's 'I' was distinctly homophobic in the portrayal of a transgender make-up artist
Ojas Rajani, a popular real-life transgender make-up artist portrays a similar role role in 'I'.
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New Delhi: Picture this: A supermodel picks up a simple young body builder and takes him out for a makeover. He's grateful for the gesture and can't wait to impress her -- that is until, he sees that her "star" make-up person is a transgender. That's when he breaks into a dance and starts teasing her.

This infuriating and frankly ridiculous scene is from the recent Tamil blockbuster 'I', directed by Shankar. Featuring Vikram and Amy Jackson in the lead roles, the otherwise entertaining film has gathered a lot of negative reactions with respect to the homophobic treatment of its only transgender character.

Ojas Rajani, a popular real-life transgender make-up artist portrays a similar role role in 'I'. Everything about the on-screen character, from her being overtly physical to the Vikram, to behaving in the manner of the most tired stereotype on the planet, the parts in 'I' featuring their on-screen interactions are plain offensive.

"The way Shankar has portrayed Ojas's character makes us look like some sex-starved individuals. We are in talks with the members of LGBT community to decide the next course of action," popular transgender TV personality Rose Venkatesan told IANS in an interview.

"We want Shankar to remove those scenes from the film. It belittles our community and we plan to lodge an official complaint on Monday with the police. If required, we don't even mind taking the legal recourse," Rose said.

Now, Shankar has sought police protection following protest by a group of transgenders outside his residence in Chennai.

(with inputs from IANS)

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