Tamil-Telugu actor Vishal Krishna, currently riding the crest of success with his digital hit “Irumbu Thirai/Abhimanyudu” is embarrassed and appalled by actress Sri Reddy’s naming game. He says if she can name Telugu superstar Nani, she can name anyone next.
Sri Reddy has accused Nani of seeking and getting sexual favours from her. The actor has sent her a legal notice for defamation.
Vishal, jumping to Nani’s defence, said: “I know him well. He is a very good friend of mine. But I am not defending him for personal reasons. This latest accusation by her (Sri Reddy) is perhaps the most outrageous yet. Anybody who knows Nani knows how particular he is in his behaviour towards men and women.
“She should come forward with evidence of her accusations rather than just naming anyone. It seems like she’s picking her targets randomly. For all we know, I might be the next one to be named by her.”
Vishal said the Telugu film industry is in the thrall of an unprecedented embarrassment.
“You never know who will be named next. I seriously think such grave allegations must be substantiated with evidence. Our laws about sex crimes are lopsided. Any woman can make the allegation and the law will act on that allegation and give the accused a chance to defend himself only later. This is not right.”
Having said this, Vishal feels the existence of the casting couch is very much a reality in the entertainment industry.
“In the Tamil and Telugu film industry, any Tom, Dick or Harry can open a office claiming to be a producer and ‘audition’ girls for roles. The stereotypical image of the starlet with her pushy Amma allowing the so-called producers or his assistant to take advantage of the young girl, is not off the mark.”
However, Vishal thinks this cliched view of the casting couch is now being subverted.
“You can’t just pick on people at random accusing them of sexual exploitation. Of course, exploitation exists, and not just in the entertainment industry. But that doesn’t mean people with impeccable reputations can be targeted.”