Dear viewers of Fully Filmy’s YouTube channel,
I, along with my team, have been going through all the feedback(positive/negative) over the past few days regarding our interview with Andrea Jeremiah with Abishek Raaja as the interviewer. I would like to thank each one of you for going through our work and offering your honest feedback.
I will try my best to summarise my thoughts in the least defensive manner possible, but this is my honest response in terms of the intended direction, tone and mood of the interview.
To give you a little background info, we at Fully Filmy have always spoken up against any kind of discrimination, especially in the film industry, and more so when it comes to discrimination towards women. I am not going to take out specific videos and point out specific instances because a hundred ‘rights’ cannot justify a ‘wrong’.
However, I would like to tell you about the style and the tone of voice we use in our videos, reviews and interviews. We feel very strongly about everything that happens around us, and the tone we use to express these feelings are extremely sarcastic or satirical in nature.
If one were to look up the meaning of ‘Satire’--
For example, when the actor jokingly says that no one proposes to her anymore, the anchor says, “How will it happen if you wear a helmet and kill people(referring to Andrea’s character in Thupparivalan)? A saree would have made it more easy.”
Now, if you take only the last line out of context, yes, it does sound sexist. But view it in the context of the interview, and you might be able to understand that the anchor is mirroring a majority of the male society and what would please them…this is satire.
Another question goes like, “Have you lost out on doing certain films because you are tall?”
This is again a satire on the insecurity of the male stars, who are viewed by filmmakers and fans as the driving force of big films, as a result of which female actors lose out on roles. And ‘height’ is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to parameters based on which talented female actors might lose on doing good work. Let’s not pretend that this doesn’t happen in the industry, or even when it comes to something more relatable, like an arranged marriage.
Another question: “We come to watch movies only cause of Andrea.”
This can also be viewed as sexism. But if a female actor draws an audience to the theatres, is that wrong? Now let’s replace Andrea’s name with a popular male star. Does that elicit the same reaction?
And then comes the particular ‘Wonder Woman’ statement, where the anchor quotes, “I would love to see you play Wonder Woman. Not imagining the tiny skirt, but how powerful you will be.”
However, 'satire' is our intention, and never the 'justification'. It is not an attempt to hide anything, but the core intention which may result in poor execution.
To all those who deem this statement as ‘unprofessional’, I agree. It is a raw and honest statement expressed by the anchor, but listen to the entire statement(without isolating the first half of it) and you will again notice that it means her role as Wonder Woman would go beyond just the actor’s wardrobe(which unfortunately becomes the first thing to judge about a woman in our society) and actually make a powerful character.
Now, a few people have compared our interview with Andrea and that with Siddharth and stated that the tone of the interview is drastically different. Yes. It certainly is. And though there are a handful of thoughtful questions directed towards Andrea(which most seem to ignore), there are a few questions and statements that can be directed only towards a female actor because as much as some of us like the world to be impartial and unbiased in terms of gender, it isn’t. And there are a few things we have to talk about, albeit in our own tone and language which we hope will invoke a thought in people’s minds. Additionally, every single interview is different , intended to be different and we request you to view it that way. However if you feel we have been partial to any artiste in any particular interview, please bring it to our notice and we will definitely correct that in the future.
The claim about the anchor and his tone being unprofessional, I agree. Yes, we tend to cross the line when it comes to professionalism, because when it comes to satire, this tends to happen and it is our fault. This is not a justification but an acknowledgement. I apologise for this and we as a team will try our best to be careful about the tone we used in any interview, irrespective of the artiste’s gender.
After speaking to quite a few women about the interview(who had differing opinions about whether it was sexist or not), we have come to realise that there is a very fine line between satire and sexism, and when viewed out of context, the lines seem to blur. And the fault in our part is to have let the intent get lost in translation due to our intended tone and desired effect in people’s minds. We are constantly trying to find our voice and if there is a lack of clarity in the content we provide, I apologise for that on behalf of my team.
My kind request to representatives of the media is that while you have the freedom of expression, you also have a responsibility to reach out to the artiste to understand if your feelings about the nature of the interview resonates with him/her before you proceed to write your opinion piece. And if proven true, I will be the first one to take action on anyone who has crossed the line and genuinely offended the artiste and immediately review and redesign our guidelines as a firm.
Secondly, you can also reach out to representatives of the channel in question(which is Fully Filmy in this case), and that includes me. I would be happy to answer your questions as honestly as possible.
Finally, to all you viewers, irrespective of whether you like us, hate us, offer positive/negative criticism, please keep doing what you do. Please form your own independent opinions and feel free to express the same. We are a very young team and we are constantly learning, and nothing like your constant feedback will help us learn. We will not be taking the interview down just so that you can watch it once again and constantly tell us what you genuinely feel. We are reading every positive/negative comment and more than the positive comments that make us feel good, it’s the honest, negative and constructive criticism that will help us learn and try to do better.
Thank you for being patient enough to read this and I hope it has cleared a few of your doubts. If not, please feel free to reach out to me and I will try my best to clear them for you.
On behalf of Team Fully Filmy,