Following severe backlash from Tamil nationalists and a section of politicians and film personalities, Vijay Sethupathi who agreed to play the lead role in the film, 800, a biopic of Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has decided to opt out of the movie. The film was caught up in a controversy over 'Super Deluxe' star's decision to play Muralitharan, who is believed to have supported the Lankan government during the civil war with the LTTE.
In Tamil Nadu, film personalities such as Bharathiraja, Ameer, Thamarai and Cheran and even a state minister, Kadambur C Raju, had made statements urging Vijay Sethupathi to withdraw from the project “considering the sentiments of Tamil people.”
On Monday, Muralitharan issued a statement asking Sethupathi to walk out of the project. Thanking the cricketer, Sethupathi shared the statement.
Mr Muralitharan said: "I don't like (that) a top artist is affected because of me. There should not be any unnecessary obstacles for Vijay Sethupathi in his journey as an artist." Vijay Sethupathi told reporters, 'It's Over' and he walked out of the project.
Mr Muralitharan, meanwhile, has denied allegations he supported the killings. He clarified that, "I had said that in 2009 - to be the happiest day in my life, having in mind the end of the war and loss of lives on both sides. This (his remark) is being twisted as, 'The day Tamils were killed and heaped was the happiest day in my life. I had never supported killing of innocents and I would never do (ever)."