Recently a video of Tamil actor Rekha talking about a non-consensual onscreen kiss with her co-star Kamal Haasan in the film Punnagai Mannan has gone viral. The clip is from her interview to Cinema Vikatan. Punnagai Mannan released in 1986 and was helmed by director K. Balachander.
In the video, Rekha mentions a scene in which both hers and Haasan’s characters are about to commit suicide. Right before committing suicide, Haasan’s character kisses Rekha. In the interview, Rekha has revealed that she did not give her consent for the kiss. She also revealed that after the shoot she was worried that the scene would upset her father. She also added that the scene bothered her for a few days.
When Rekha took this up with the director, Balachander dismissed her concern by saying that there was nothing vulgar about the scene and that the kiss was important to portray the bonding between the two characters.
Take a look at the interview here:
WTF!— Sangeeth (@Sangeethoffcl) February 23, 2020
This would have made the headlines if it happened in Hollywood. This is proper 'sexual harassment at the workplace'. Worst is, they've even planned it.
But since it's Kamal saaaaar and Balachandar saaaaar, it should be fine I guess. pic.twitter.com/alPAC7eXJy
This is the scene Rekha is talking about:
A Twitter user replied to the video saying that Kamal Haasan must issue an apology. The user wrote, “I say this as his fan, if this is true @ikamalhaasan should unequivocally apologise to her publicly. The reaction of the interviewer shows how normalised sexual harassment is in our society. They are talking about it in a matter of fact manner.”
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