Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has praised Telugu actress Sri Reddy after it was announced that her application for membership in the Movie Artist Association (MAA) will be considered.
Reddy's protests against casting couch and sexual exploitation in the Telugu film industry have forced the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce (TFCC) to set up a sexual harassment redressal panel.
Varma has welcomed the development and hailed her on Twitter. He posted, "Hey @MsSriReddy I respect you for taking such immensely courageous decisions and I salute you for achieving such a sensational and BLOCKBUSTER ViCTORY [sic]."
RGV also compared Reddy with Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi, and posted, "To historically compare the victory of @MsSriReddy ...Jhansi Lakshmi Bai used her sword as a weapon to fight for her kingdom and Sri Lakshmi Bai used her own body as a weapon to fight the Maledom in the film industry. [sic]"
"Casting couch existed ever since the advent of Cinema a 100 years back. Not getting into individual allegations @MsSriReddy has drawn more attention to the evils of Casting Couch than anyone in the last 100 years and I salute her for that [sic[," he added.
RGV also claims that aspiring actresses will get the benefits of Reddy's protests. "Those who thought @MsSriReddy was wrong in stripping can't deny, it's only that shock which woke up both national and international communities. Sri Reddy's mother should be proud of what her daughter achieved for film industry in general and aspiring actresses in particular [sic]," RGV said.
The MAA and TFCC took the decisions after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) intervened to send notices to the Telangana government and the Union information and broadcasting ministry over Sri Reddy's allegations.
Praising her for the way she drew the media and public attention, Varma posted, "The courageousness of @MsSriReddy to strip to get attention towards the casting couch exploitation managed to raise the attention of NHRC and this is an amazing achievement."
In a cryptic tweet, he said, "@MsSriReddy just stripped her mere external clothing but in reality she actually stripped the hypocritical false values shrouded in a moral clothing of a dirty feudalistic immoral depravity parading around in a masked indignation. [sic]"
The actress had created quite a stir in Tollywood after raised the issue of casting couch and sexual harassment in the Telugu film industry. When the Tollywood did not pay any heed, the actress stripped in front of the office of TFCC in Hyderabad last week on Saturday. The protest annoyed MAA and it decided to deny her application for membership.
The biggest shockwaves for the Telugu film industry came when Reddy accused Abhiram Daggubati, the son of leading Telugu producer Suresh Babu, and Kona Venkat of sexually exploiting her.