Tovino calls out journalist for stirring controversy over excised dialogue

Tovino Thomas
Tovino Thomas. Photo: Manorama Online

Actor Tovino Thomas responded sharply to a journalist's question on political correctness during the press meeting for the new movie "Anweshipin Kandethum". Tovino's reaction came while screenwriter Jinu Abraham was addressing a media person's question regarding a line in the movie "Kaduva".

"The film was released two years ago. An unreserved apology was tendered for the mistake, and the scene was removed from the film. Something that everyone had forgotten was deliberately brought up here only to stir up a controversy. Didn’t you gain some pleasure from it? Well done," was Tovino's response.

Jinu Abraham was the screenwriter of "Kaduva," starring Prithviraj in the lead. A dialogue in the film was criticized for demeaning children with disabilities. Following this, the dialogue was removed from the film.

The journalist had asked whether they would pay greater attention to such politically correct issues in the script. Jinu Abraham said, "A film's script is read by many people and goes through a lot of filtering before being shot. Discussions happen even moments before filming. After the release of that film, the director, I, and many enlightened people have given interviews to media outlets here. They all watched the movie. Every part of the movie was discussed, and no one seemed to have a problem with it or felt that the dialogue had such a connotation. All of a sudden, it was interpreted as affecting a few people. None of us meant it that way. I am not a sadist, nor are the director Shaji Kailas or the hero Prithviraj.

“But, we cannot excuse ourselves by saying that we did not mean it. If a group feels strongly about it, the decent and reasonable course of action is to cut out the dialogue to avoid hurting their feelings. In the case of the controversial dialogue, that was done promptly. I am not a person who censors the script. Darwin and Tovino must have read the script for this movie several times. Prithviraj is the hero of the film that I am going to do tomorrow. They are free to remind me of any such issue and say that there is a problem, and I am willing to change it if it seems genuine.

“I am not the type of person who thinks that I should intentionally hurt someone when I write. That issue had upset a few people back then, but it was rectified. It ended there. No one should assume that there will be such dialogues in my next films too and that I will write the script by worrying over it," Jinu said.

Tovino then took the microphone and spoke. "Let me ask you something. The movie was released two years ago. An unconditional apology was tendered for the mistake, and the dialogue was removed from the scene. Something that everyone had forgotten was deliberately brought up here again only to stir up a controversy. You gained some pleasure from doing it. Didn’t you get a piece of content? A writer who admits a mistake and promises not to repeat it. That could be a good clickbait. Well done, I appreciate it," Tovino said.

When asked whether Tovino was afraid of doing such scripts, he replied, “I am not afraid of anyone”.
“Will you act if the script is politically incorrect?” was the next question. "What should I do while playing a character who lives a politically incorrect life? Let us say I am playing a villain. He is a bad guy. A person who does things that are politically incorrect. Do I have to say that this is politically incorrect and so I will not do it? If you had a clear understanding of political correctness, there would be no need to ask this question. No problem, you got a piece of content. Chill,” Tovino responded.

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