In the picture: Sri Lankan Cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan (Facebook) and Actor Vijay Sethupathi (Facebook)

Actor Vijay Sethupathi has opted out of 800, the biopic of former Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan after severe social media backlash.

The news came after Muttiah Muralitharan, in a statement, requested Vijay Sethupathi to opt-out of his biopic 800. Ever since the biopic was announced, there has been a severe backlash on social media against Sethupathi and the entire team of 800. After Muralitharan’s explosive statement, Vijay Sethupathi has now opted out of 800, directed by MS Sripathy.

Muralitharan said that doing the film would cause harm to Sethupathi’s career, and therefore he has asked the actor to quit the project. He also mentioned that the producers will be recasting the role and that the biopic will soon be available for his fans and general audience.

Sethupathi on Monday shared Muralitharan’s statement on Twitter and wrote, “Thank you and goodbye.”

Muthiah Muralitharan’s statement released in Tamil roughly translates as:

“I am issuing this statement as there has been controversy around my biopic 800.

Due to misconception, several people were pressing actor Vijay Sethupathi to drop out of 800 the film. I don’t want one of the finest actor’s in Tamil Nadu to face any kind of trouble, hence I request him to drop out of the project. There should be no obstacles for Vijay Sethupathi in the future because of this movie.

I never get tired of obstacles. I have reached this position only by facing and overcoming obstacles. I accepted this biopic because I thought the movie will inspire and provide confidence to aspiring young cricketers. I am sure that the makers will overcome these hurdles. They have promised me that they will make an announcement regarding this soon. I will stand by their decisions.

I wholeheartedly thank the press, politicians, fans of Vijay Sethupathi, and most importantly, the people of Tamil Nadu who supported me in these circumstances.”

The controversy began as soon as it was announced that Vijay Sethupathi will be playing Muthiah Muralitharan, who is a Sri Lankan Tamil, in the biopic 800. This is largely because Muralitharan is seen as a supporter of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was at the helm during almost 30 years of civil war that gripped the island nation. The war affected the Malayaga Tamils, with Indian-lineage, to a great extent.

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