Dulquer Salmaan apologises after ‘Prabhakara’ joke in movie faces massive backlash

Dulquer Salmaan’s recent Malayalam film Varane Aavasyamund has found itself in trouble since it started streaming on Netflix. Just days after the team apologised to a female journalist who accused Dulquer and his production house of using her photograph without consent, the film is caught in another controversy. This time it involves a joke involving the name ‘Prabhakara.

In the scene in question, actor Suresh Gopi’s character calls his dog ‘Prabhakara’. Though it is a popular reference to a character played by actor Thilakan in the 1988 hit film Pattana Pravesham, a section of the Tamil audience wrongly interpreted it as a sarcastic reference to slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Actor Dulquer took to his social media handles to issue a detailed clarification of the context of the reference, and also issued an apology. “A lot of people have brought to my notice that the Prabhakaran joke in Varane Avashyamund is insulting to the Tamizh people. It was not intentional. The joke is a reference to an older Malayalam film Pattana Pravesham and is a common Meme in Kerala. It is a common name in Kerala as well so it wasn’t directed at any person living or dead as our disclaimer mentions in the beginning of the film. Most people reacting are doing so without watching the film and are trying to spread hate. Hating on me and my director Anoop we can accept. Kindly keep it to us and not our fathers or senior actors from the film. I apologise to all of the good and kind tamizh people who felt offended. I have never intended to offend anyone through my films or my words. It’s genuinely a misunderstanding (sic),” Dulquer said in a statement posted on his Twitter page.

He added that some people were being ‘extremely abusive, deliberately hurtful and insulting family along with us’.

In another tweet, he also shared the iconic clip from the Pattana Pravesham.

Replying to Dulquer’s tweet, Tamil actor Prasanna said he understood the context as someone who has watched Malayalam films. “As a Tamil who’s seen Malayalam movies I quiet understand the context, I sincerely apologize dear @dulQuer for the misunderstanding and all the unwarranted abuse.”

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