Updated January 16th, 2024 at 19:54 IST

Shakeela Reveals She Faced Financial Exploitation In Malayalam Industry In Early Days

Popular actress Shakeela while speaking at an event revealed that she was exploited in the Malayalam industry when she first started her career.

Shakeela | Image:Youtube screengrab

Like every other industry, Malayalam cinema is also dominated by male-centric narratives. Actress Shakeela recently addressed the same and revealed how her fame disrupted conventional norms and gender dynamics associated with the industry. She also talked about how her roles in softcore pornographic films redefined the traditional notion of a "heroine" in Malayalam cinema.

Shakeela addresses the shift in the industry’s attitude towards her

Despite once being a brand in Malayalam cinema, Shakeela now faces reluctance from filmmakers who fear that her inclusion may alter the perception of their films. During the Kerala Literature Festival in Kozhikode, the actress reveals that now in her films, she serves as the hero, heroine, and the entire story. She added, “I know that’s not something that happens with many women actors. Many of them receive such low remuneration that they are ashamed to admit it openly.”

Shakeela | Image: IMDb

Shakeela alleges exploitation in Malayalam cinema

Despite her remarkable success, Shakeela disclosed instances of financial exploitation and recounted the situations where she unknowingly shot scenes for a different film during a shoot. She added, “Due to my language barrier, I often had no clue what was happening. Eventually, I started telling them that I would not shoot in Kerala anymore because here they would be calling all the shots. I decided that I would only shoot in Chennai from now on.”

Shakeela revealed that after 65-70 bank cheques from filmmakers in Kerala bounced, she stopped taking cheques.

Shakeela | Image: IMDb

In the same conversation, Shakeela further acknowledged the value of Internal Committees (IC) for workplace complaints and questioned their efficacy in the film industry while expressing scepticism about job security for those who file complaints. She also stirred controversy by questioning the #MeToo movement and pondered why women must publicly disclose harassment experiences with little tangible outcome.


Published January 16th, 2024 at 19:54 IST