Tamil comedian-actor Santhanam has been making headlines for his remarks on Suriya’s film Jai Bhim. While commenting on the film’s depiction of caste, Santhanam opined that one should not belittle others to highlight social issues. “That is a completely unnecessary thing. The youth should give out good messages to the society,” the actor had said during a press conference for his film Sabhaapathy.

While Santhanam’s comments drew mixed reactions, the actor himself has courted controversy with his recent outings. His latest film Sabhaapathy drew ire for one of the posters in which the lead actor is seen urinating on a wall, while another character is sitting with a bottle of alcohol.

The wall is plastered with a slogan, “Protest for clean water, gather warriors.” The poster drew flak from Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, a regional political party, which accused the makers of belittling people protesting for clean water.

“In the name of humour, they are insulting the protestors who fight for water. We strongly condemn making films with inhumane scenes in the name of comedy. This scene should be removed from the movie immediately,” said Ramakrishnan, the General Secretary of TPDK.

Sabhaapathy also came under fire for apparently copying the main poster of the film from the Hollywood film ‘Role Models’.

Not just Sabhaapathy, Santhanam’s previous film Dikkiloona was hammered by critics for featuring sexist dialogues. In the film, Santhanam’s character shames a woman for wearing a little dress, saying she should be living in a manner acceptable to society.

If this wasn’t enough, Dikkiloona also has a scene in which Santhanam makes fun of the disabled people by calling one such person a “side stand”. December 3 Movement president Deepak Nathan issued a statement condemning the scene.

Going back some years, the transgender community registered their protest against Shankar’s I, alleging denigration of a transgender character by Santhanam in the film.

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