A Tamil film director who wanted actor Vijay Sethupathi to not be a part of the biopic on legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan has alleged that he has been receiving threats to his life and appealed to the chief minister E Palaniswami for help.
“I think there is a threat to my life,” R Seenu Ramasamy tweeted on Wednesday. “The Chief Minister should help. It’s urgent,” he said in the tweet in Tamil.
The proposed biopic, titled 800, which was to star Vijay Sethupathi, had created a controversy in Tamil Nadu as many alleged that the cricketer had “betrayed” the Tamils by supporting former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the civil war in 2009 and backing tge killing of Tamils.
Muralitharan said he never supported the killing of Tamils.
Amid the raging controversy, many leading personalities and mainstream political parties appealed to the actor to pull out of the project. On October 19, Sethupathi announced that he was quitting the film.
“Like the others, I, too, had urged Vijay Sethupathi to opt out of the film ‘800’,” Ramasamy said. “After this, I started getting threat messages. Abuses were hurled at me. Now, I dread checking WhatsApp message,” he said.
Ramasamy has previously teamed with Sethupathi on films such as Thenmerku Paruvakatru and Dharmadurai, which were well received and were also critically acclaimed.
The director has said that there are attempts to create a misunderstanding between him and Sethupathi. Talking to media persons, he said he had asked the actor both privately and publicly to exit the movie due to concerns about his career. Many created an impression that he was saying this because he was against Sethupathi.
During a meeting, the actor told him that the production house behind the project had decided not to go with it. That put an end to the issue, he said. According to Ramasamy, Sethupathi told him not to worry about allegations that he was against the actor.
During the controversy, Sethupathi daughter got a rape threat on Twitter. Director Bharathiraja, the AIADMK, and PMK chief P Ramadoss were among those who asked Sethupathi to reconsider his decision to be a part of the film, Muralitharan himself had asked Sethupathi to not be a part of the project.