Asha Sharath files complaint of cyber-bullying after promotional video for film goes awry

On July 3, actress Asha Sharath, sans any makeup, appeared in a video on Facebook, looking distraught and ‘pleading for help to locate her missing husband, Zachariah.’ At first glance, the less-than-a-minute clip may appear genuine. But if one were to stay till the end of the clip, they would realise that it is a promotional clip for the actress’ film Evidey directed by KK Rajeev that deals with a similar subject.

The idea may be tacky and inspired, but it has gotten Asha into trouble. In less than a week, the video, with 1.5 million views, has generated a lot of negative feedback from people who found the video misleading. The actress and the film’s makers have also complained that some people with vested interested have edited the clip maliciously and shared the same on social media platforms.

The actress sent a complaint to state DGP Lokanath Behera, alleging that she was being bullied and harassed online for the video. She told reporters that the version of the video uploaded through her Facebook page on July 3 was clearly accompanied with a caption that it was a promotional video for the film Evidey.

“This was purely for promotional purposes. It was not intended to mislead anyone. Even if people who love me thought it was real, they would not have showered me with abuse. People who love us will never abuse us. That’s the difference. My apology is not for those who harassed me online,” Asha Sharath told Manorama News.

The filmmakers also came out with a statement condemning the cyber-abuse against Asha.

“As a very committed and experienced artist, Ms Asha has been highly supportive of the project and it is really unacceptable and unfortunate that some people online are misusing the same by editing the credits part of it and circulating the same in alternate social media platforms. We had taken all necessary steps required and had ensured that the content in no way breaks the norms of online communication or create any negative impact. We have obliged to all the online etiquettes and have ensured that we follow all the norms and regulations,” it said.

Evidey, written by Bobby-Sanjay and directed by KK Rajeev, stars Asha Sharath, Manoj K Jayan, Prem Prakash and Suraj Venjaaramoodu in pivotal roles. Manoj plays Zachariah who goes missing and it propels his wife, played by Asha, to look for him. The film, made on a small budget, released on July 5.