Producer Sandra Thomas acknowledges rampant use of drugs in Malayalam industry

Producer Sandra Thomas, known for bankrolling films such as Zachariayude Garbhinikal (2013), Philips and the Monkey Pen (2013) and Aadu (2015) among others, has reacted strongly to the ongoing drug menace controversy in Malayalam industry. In an interview, she has admitted that there is rampant use of drugs in Malayalam filmdom and that strict action needs to be taken to control it. She said that many producers are suffering due to the drug addictions of some actors. (Also read: Shane Nigam and Sreenath Bhasi banned for ‘bad behavior’ on sets by Malayalam film unions)

Actors Shane Nigam and Sreenath Bhasi have already been banned by the Malayalam film unions.

Over the last few weeks, the Malayalam industry has been plagued by reports of several actors taking drugs on film set. Following several complaints, The Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) and Kerala Film Producers Association last week jointly issued a ban of popular Malayalam actors Shane Nigam and Sreenath Bhasi, who were allegedly taking drugs on sets.

In an interview to Cinema Express, Sandra said: “It’s true that drug usage is rampant in Malayalam cinema. It’s high time we controlled it because there are plenty of issues associated with it. People who take these drugs don’t sleep at night, so they’re always late for the shoot. We also don’t know when they’re sober. They’ll nod at all our instructions, but they won’t be listening. They keep forgetting the time and dates. At the end of the day, it’s the producer who suffers.”

She also reacted to the ban on actors Shane Nigam and Sreenath Bhasi. She confirmed that film bodies have reached a consensus with the exhibitors ensuring that their films don’t get released in theatres.

“It’s a nightmare to handle uncooperative actors,” she said, and added, “In Shane Nigam’s case, I don’t know what’s wrong with his request to check the edited footage. It becomes a problem only when he tries to be involved in the process and demands modifications according to his wish.”

Actor Tini Tom recently reacted to the rampant drug use. He also said that he recently worked with an actor whom he suspected to be on drugs as he has stained teeth. Tom further added that he has decided to not let his son pursue acting as his wife is worried for him.

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