Fully Filmy responds: Was Andrea's interview misogynistic?

by Raunaq Mangottil on November 09, 2017

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,

Yours Sincerely,

 

Raunaq Mangottil,

Founder/Creative Director,

Fully Filmy

 

13 comments
by balaji on May 16, 2018

U r one awesome interviewer I have ever seen. You are asking the question as u wish to the celebrities without any hesitance its sure guts. I am seeing a new style of interview. Today is the 1st time am seeing ur interview and u nailed it with Andrea. Awesome man its good to see such talents. Direct a film soon am eager to see ur movie and wish all the best for your future steps.

by Name on May 16, 2018

Thupparivalan spoiler? Idk, haven’t seen the movie yet, but it definitely felt like one. On the flip-side, I didn’t get that helmet joke till just now!

by Vasanthakumar Soundararajan on May 16, 2018

All I see is Grade-A bull shit, both in the response and the comments. How hard can it be for some one to come forward and apologize for a blunder than to write a response that makes zero sense?
If you don’t see a problem with the way this interview being conducted, You are a big part of the problem, who selectively allow sexual misconduct. Shame on you.
Sadly, the last place to expect sexual equality is a film industry in India, let alone a Film Critic (“So Called”) crew of Indian films where objectification of women is the way of business.

by banu on May 16, 2018

I too felt it was slightly sexist when i was watching the interview. Abishek always says he doesn’t want to ask cliche questions to heroine about their gender and shelf life but continues to do so. I think misogyny is part of the indian society no matter how hard we try not to be. I too, have been watching Abishek’s interviews since day 1 and know that he in no way set out to belittle andrea’s achievements. But shit happens yo. Lets just chill and learn to give equal respect to all from here on. Cheers to my fave tamil channel on youtube.

by Uma Devi R on May 16, 2018

In the total pandemonium most of the viewers completely ignored the beautiful description given by Ms. Andrea on difference spiritualism and organised religion. She was so sensible. Standing by the team and also being responsible to the viewers are the biggest strengths of fully filmy. Prayers and wishes for the team to reach pinnacle. Thank you so much on behalf of viewers for clarifications.

by Ameen on November 10, 2017

I have been following all his(Abisek Raaja) interviews and reviews right from the start….. I have only seen his love and passion towards cinima….. And for the justification u gave is totally correct ……. A heartful of appriciation to Ranaque who took effort on explanation!!!!….. Still love you all for the thing you are doing is immensely great …….
Cheers !!!!
Ameen

by Venkat on November 09, 2017

I stand with abi Anna and fully filmy there’s nothing wrong in the interview and the tone ofc yea abi was more comfortable with Siddharth so he could post a few to him where as he can’t in case if it’s Andrea why always look into something with the negative mindset grow up ppl make it views 180 ?

by Varun on November 09, 2017

Honestly, I too agree with ur statement. Having followed Abishek raja interviews from the start of Fully Filmy, I can say he always tried to show the wrongs and partiality that exists in the film industry and among the audience through satire (sometimes even directly). I think it was misunderstood. I may be wrong.

I didn’t have any problem with the interview for the most part, except for the ‘ogling’ statement at the start of the interview.

Anyway continue u r good work.

by Bupesh on November 09, 2017

Appreciate you taking time to write such a detailed response. This is an encouraging dialogue. What qualifies as sexism is open to interpretation. But there are enough and more moral policing in our society to jump on it at the first available / non-available opportunity. Have been a follower of fully fully content and will continue to be.

by Ranjitha on November 09, 2017

A very superficial watching of the episode without understanding the thought process or the reasons for which it sounds the way it does can lead to jumping into such conclusions ..

Being true to excelling in the work u do can simply save u .There is no necasity to explain ones work as misinterpretations have the ability to die on their own .

It does not matter if ur a novice or young or an upcoming group !

by Rafeeah on November 09, 2017

Hey completely agree with you! Didn’t find it misogynistic! It’s all in how you see it.

by Harish chander on November 09, 2017

Dude.. We stand by Fully Filmy.
I do.
Don’t worry.
Great to see a young team receiving positive and negative criticism with open arms .
That’s the way to go..

Dude.. We stand by Fully Filmy.
I do.
Don’t worry.
Great to see a young team receiving positive and negative criticism with open arms .
That’s the way to go..Theeya Vela seiyanum kumaru..!!!

by Aarti on November 09, 2017

Thanx Ranauq for taking time to explain. Pls continue doing a great job. All lovers of cinema ’ll truly love ur channel. As an ardent follower and merchandise consumer of u guys. An honest feedback is listen has improved by leaps and bounds and ll b great to c him anchoring an interview. Abishek is good but feel dat has become monotonous and run of the mill. In fact used to love his earlier interviews. ’ll b great if abishek sticks to his style. I feel he is trying to become like regular interviewers and hence losing his trademark.

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