Does Being An Actor In Pakistan Take Away Their Right To Condemn Heinous Crimes?

All celebrities have their own formula regarding their online presence. While some take the time out to interact with fans, others tend not to. It is understandable considering how celebrities are soft targets for the social media trolls that take no time in taking offense to every word they post online.

However, celebrities are also citizens of the country and the pressing issues of the country affect them as much as any common citizen. The heinous Motorway Incident has sparked outrage on social media and our Pakistani celebrities are also not hesitating in demanding strict actions against the rapists and urging the system to take accountability. They are well within their rights to exercise freedom of speech and yet, people on social media don’t make it easy for them to simply because they are celebrities who work in the Pakistani entertainment industry.

Questioned for demanding justice

the hashtag #PublicHangingOfRapists was endorsed by many Pakistani celebrities who had posted it on their respective social media. Faysal Qureshi was one of the actors who expressed his frustrations at the increasing number of sexual crimes against women and demanded strict repercussions for the criminals. However, the responses that his tweets got were more to do with his job than what he was actually saying.

Faysal was involved in a Twitter spat with some users who had taken offense to Faysal demanding punishments for the culprits when he was a Pakistani television actor. Apparently, just because Faysal has acted in a couple of dramas that have the theme of sexual violence in them, Faysal is in no position to comment on the issue that is becoming rampant in the county. He is, according to some twitter users, a contributor to the crimes.

Faysal Qureshi was not the only one who was questioned for demanding justice. Mahira Khan had also posted on her Instagram where she expressed her frustrations regarding the whole situation. Even her post got a comment which put the entire blame on the Pakistani entertainment industry instead of the actual culprits. Mahira shut down the person by pointing out the very obvious in a sarcastic manner.

Is the industry really to blame?

Every time there is a new tragic and unfortunate incident regarding harassment and rape, this argument is brought up. The recent clips from Say It All With Iffat Omar that have resurfaced online were also brought in the conversation to act as evidence for the role that the industry is playing in all this.

Faysal was even questioned about the controversial statements that Iffat Omar has made in her show. While Faysal rightfully replied that the ones who made the comments are the one who should be questioned for it, it does give proof of how social media tends to think of the entire drama industry as one homogenous entity where every individual can be asked to take accountability for the actions of others.

This argument is a very childish and stupid one. Rapists and the criminals are the ones responsible for such heinous crimes and nothing as TV serials or movies can be blamed for it. No content either on TV or film has ever glorified or tried to normalize the horrors of these crimes. Even in the stories that do have sexual violence and crimes as a plotline, it is never presented in a way that could potentially entice carry out the same deeds.

Regardless of the accusations against the industry, it’s an undeniable fact that our artists, dramas, and films do have an impact. They raise awareness by presenting the realities of society in a fictional movie or a show. In real life, they used their platforms on social media to bring attention to the pressing matters. The importance of celebrities speaking up for issues cannot be denied. And it is high time netizens learn it.


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