Yesterday that National Human Rights Commission slapped notices on the Telangana government and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on the alleged sexual exploitation of women in the Telugu film industry. Just a few hours thereafter the Movie Artists Association (MAA) has reportedly lifted its ban on Tollywood actress and #MeToo campaigner Sri Reddy. The association also withdrew its restrictions on all its 900 members from acting with the actress. As a way to deal with complaints of sexual harassment, the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce also announced the setting up of a Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) at workplaces.
A joint press conference was addressed on Thursday responding to the NHRC notices by MAA president Sivaji Raja, Producers Council president Thammareddy Bharadwaja, and other senior leaders. Sivaji Raja announced that the screening committee with take a decision at its tri-monthly meeting, adding that MAA members had the freedom to act with her in films. He further declared that Sri Reddy was their sister and that filmmaker Teja had assured MAA that he would honour the agreements he had signed with the actress for the two films.
Bharadwaja, on the other hand, made sure that that they would set up the Committee Against Sexual Harassment within four days (CASH), which is compulsory according to the Supreme Court directive and is in line with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013. This is definitely a matter of huge success for Sri Reddy whose allegations and protests against Tollywood’s casting couch and sexual harrasment of women started with a seminude dharna on Saturday in front of the MMA office in Hyderabad. This was immediately followed by the association banning her.