...says singer Chinmayi Sripaada, who is back in town from a US concert. She also tells us that she is considering legal action against the dubbing union soon
It’s been only two months since Chinmayi Sripaada made allegations of sexual misconduct against lyricist Vairamuthu as a part of the #MeToo movement. But the singer and dubbing artiste is already facing the heat from some of the seniors in the industry and has been subjected to abusive comments, trolls and memes. The recent incident of her being terminated from the Dubbing Artiste Union, headed by Radha Ravi, has sparked a huge debate, as the move is being viewed as a tactic to intimidate Chinmayi.
Ask Chinmayi if she thinks that the entire Tamil industry is turning up against her post MeToo allegations, she tells DTNext, “ I don’t think I can really speak about this industry or their mindset on this issue. But I do have friends and colleagues, who have been working with me for a long time, to sit and figure out if they can help me in anyway.” She adds, “But the fact is, I have been terminated from the dubbing union for no reason, two of my dubbing assignments were cancelled, and I am not getting many offers like before in Tamil industry since I came back from the US.”
She also claims that the union terminated her without any proper information or reason. “When a person is being axed from a union, they should either send a show cause notice or invite the person for a meeting to explain the reason. But I was randomly terminated, that too, when I was not in town.”
She adds, “Moreover, I have already paid them the fee for a life time membership and have posted my bank statements as well. Which means, legally they have no right to terminate me.”
Even other women members in the dubbing union haven’t come up with any statements supporting her. “Rest of the members are forced to support decision taken by the union and they have also been asked by the office-bearers to speak against me.” She adds, “There were incidents when the dubbing union asked some of the established studios to not offer any work for artistes who they have earlier terminated and reinstated as well. In fact, they continued to collect 10 per cent of commission from dubbing artistes salary breaching the court order and had later sent a regret letter to avoid contempt of court. Three dubbing artistes, who filed a complaint against this, were sacked from the union. These people are known for such acts, and its not new. If they claim that I have not paid the membership fee since 2016, so why did they let me dub for more than four films post that?”
Chinmayi reveals to us that she will soon take legal action against the union. “I am putting all the papers together and discussing about it with my lawyers. Since I was out of country, its taking some time. By law, the dubbing union has no right to terminate me and I will continue fighting for it. Neither Radha Ravi nor the dubbing union can decide when and where I should work. It’s me who decides.”
Ask if Vairamuthu, against whom she filed complaint of sexual misconduct, ever tried to contact her and explain his side, she says, “”He did try to reach out to me through other sources to see if he can make me quiet by sending an apology. But I didn’t agree. Also, I don’t think that he felt sorry about the incident as he later posted a video denying the allegations. I am not the only woman who spoke about him.”