Director TJ Gnanavel, who recently presented the real-life inspired courtroom drama Jai Bhim through Amazon Prime Video, responded to the controversy around the highly talked about film. Apologizing to the Vanniyar community, the helmer shared that it is unfair to ask the leading man Suriya to take responsibility for it. In his statement in Tamil, the journalist-turned-director said, "There was no intention to a cause affront to any individual or community. I convey my heartfelt regret to those offended." (loose translation)
He further mentioned that with the film he meant to reflect the pain of tribal people who are many times falsely accused of crimes, which even continues today. Gnanavel also added that he did not know that a picture shown on a calendar in the background of a sequence would hurt the community. He said that the calendar only appears in the film for a few seconds, and if it had come to the notice before the film's release on Amazon Prime Video, the team would have changed it.
அனைவருக்கும் வணக்கம்... pic.twitter.com/HfrGkSGwOh— Gnanavel (@tjgnan) November 21, 2021
"As the director of the film, I should take the responsibility. It is wrong to hold Suriya responsible. As a producer and actor, Suriya played the role to throw light on the issues faced by the tribal community. I also apologise to him for all that he has been put through because of the controversy", said Gnanavel.
On November 15, the Vanniyar Sangam had sent a legal notice to the makers of Jai Bhim seeking an unconditional apology alleging that the film hurt the sentiments of people and tarnished the reputation of the community. It was also alleged that the film twisted facts and displayed a calendar with Agni Kundam (Raging Fire Pot), the symbol of Vanniyar Sangam. It was later replaced with a calendar that had a picture of Goddess Lakshmi.
Jai Bhim starring Suriya, Lijomol Jose, K Manikandan, Rajisha Vijayan and Prakash Raj released on November 1.