Would it even be Lux Style Awards without controversies? The nominations for this year’s 18th Lux Style Awards, which will be held in July, are out and thus, follow the customary reactions of shock and outrage. A quick glimpse at the long list of nominations – which cover all forms of mainstream Pakistani entertainment; from film to fashion to music – shows that there are some definite ‘wins’ in the nominations. However, it is the ‘snubs’, which have become a tradition of sorts for LSA, that have made their presence known quite clearly.
So, is the list really all that controversial? Well, let’s see how the industry folks have reacted to it:
Critical and commercial successes ignored
Mohsin Abbas Haider, who has been nominated in the ‘Best Singer’ category took to his social media and called out the LSAs for blatantly ignoring his play Meri Guriya in all the drama related categories. The drama has Mohsin playing the role of the antagonist, a sexual predator who targets unsuspecting young girls specifically and has highlighted the gravely prevalent social issue of child abuse.
Mohsin called the snub as “disrespectful” towards the entire team of Meri Guriya and frankly, we don’t disagree.
Abdullah Seja, head honcho of iDream Entertainment, also voiced out his disappointment. Having produced dramas like Koi Chand Rakh, Haiwan, and Meri Beti, Abdullah used Facebook to talk about the way all the dramas were ignored in the nominations.
His post started by talking of actors Faysal Qureshi, Ayeza Khan, Areeba Habib, and Saheefa Jabbar Khatak, and called out the LSAs for ignoring them in all the best actor categories. He pointed out the clear absence of Koi Chand Rakh from the ‘Best Drama’ and ‘Best OST’ category and talked about how the drama was a ratings and online hit and its OST video had more than 13 million views on Youtube.
Shani Arshad, the composer of Koi Chand Rakh’s OST, made a point on twitter and called out the jury for not doing thorough research while making the nomination list. He pointed out how Koi Chand Rakh’s official video on Youtube had way more views than most of the nominated OSTs for the award.
Koi Chand Rakh is one of the most popular OST of the year and more popular than the nominated ones, but not added in the #LSA2019. Some research is needed before announcing the biggest awards of the country. pic.twitter.com/Lit8JArEZ9
— Shani Arshad (@shaniarshadali) March 30, 2019
Shani does make a solid case here. When the snubbed OST has raked in close to 14 million views on Youtube and one of the nominated OSTs hasn’t even garnered three thousand views on its official video, the situation does start to look very fishy.
The interesting comment sections
The comments under Abdullah’s post had many names from the industry agreeing with him with rather interesting comments of their own.
For instance, Imran Abbas called the awards as “SUX Style Awards” and said there are no credible award shows in Pakistan, to begin with. Ramsha Khan talked about how actors like Faysal Qureshi and Ayeza Khan don’t need awards as the appreciation of the audience that they get is what matters the most. She, too, cryptically commented about “how these awards work” and that award shows in this country don’t matter.
Syed Jibran ignored all the drama related to the dramas and just asked how two actors from the film Cake managed to bag the ‘Best Actor’ nominees? Nadia Khan chimed in to agree with Abdullah while Faysal Qureshi let his sarcastic laugh comment do the talking. Writers Saima Akram Chaudhry (writer of Suno Chanda and another snub of the year) and Maha Malik (Koi Chand Rakh) used the idiom “andha baante revdi phir apno ko de” to succinctly express their views (can y’all please hold on? Let us just grab our popcorn).
Trouble for Teefa
The film categories weren’t lacking any drama either. Ahsan Rahim, director of Teefa in Trouble, made a post on his twitter account and spoke about how the film’s music was completely ignored by the jury.
He, too, posted screenshots of the Youtube views the film’s songs have gotten, alongside his post where he called out the “certain biases of certain people” as being the reason for the snub. He requested the “credible voices in the industry and media to raise their voices against the open bias and discrimination for a healthy and credible industry.”
It is to be noted here that while the music of the film hasn’t been given any nod of acknowledgment from the jury, the film has been nominated in the ‘Best Film’ category while Ahsan has been nominated as the ‘Best Director’, with the film’s lead Ali Zafar bagging a ‘Best Actor’ nominee.
Which brings us to Eman Suleman. The model/actress, who has been nominated as the ‘Best Emerging Talent’ in the Fashion category, put out a video on her social media where she expressed her discomfort in sharing her nomination with someone who has been accused of sexual harassment.
Eman didn’t say any names but it isn’t wrong to assume that she was talking about the Ali Zafar – Meesha Shafi controversy. She thanked the LSAs for the nomination but said that she feels, “no joy” in sharing the accolade with an “alleged harasser.” In all the reactions that have followed the nominations, Eman is the only person who has chosen to give up her nomination while most of the other people are merely seen expressing disappointment because they didn’t get nominated.
A brief look at the rest of the list
On the whole, the list of nominations is what it has always been – satisfying for those who are a part of it (and their fans) and dissatisfying for those who aren’t.
Social media is ripe with discussion on the nominations. Some people have called LSA out on Parwaz Hai Junoon not getting ‘Best Film’ nomination while Haseeb Hassan got nominated as the ‘Best Director’ for it.
Darr Si Jaati Hai Sila has been nominated in many categories but, unfortunately, there is no ‘Best Actress’ nomination for Yumna Zaidi who had quite wonderfully played the titular character Sila, a mentally disturbed victim of prolonged sexual and mental abuse. Farhan Saeed didn’t get any nomination for Suno Chanda when his performance in the show was on-par, if not better, with his nominated co-star Iqra Aziz. And interestingly enough, Mahira Khan and Maya Ali haven’t been nominated for their films either. This does come as quite a shock as both the represent the brand as Lux Girls.
LSAs is adamant on making sure that the nominations don’t exceed the number five. Then it goes on and removes the ‘Best Supporting Actor/Actress’ category so the nominations have become even more confusing now.
Cake bagged four nominations out of ten Best Actor/Actress category while Parwaz Hai Junoon didn’t get even one. Although it is great to see Bilal Abbas Khan and Sami Khan being appreciated as Best Actors (Drama) so it’s not all that bad, I guess.
In just two years, Lux Style Awards would be celebrating its 20th edition. It is just baffling that the biggest and the oldest award show of the country still continue to make snubs that could very easily be avoided. Despite being engulfed in the same controversy year after year, the LSAs does not stop making the same mistakes. Let’s just hope that 19th time is the charm, maybe?