Setting Boundaries: Why TV Hosts Should Stick To The Script

In the realm of television hosting, where wit and banter are often part of the package, there’s a fine line between humour and disrespect, especially when it comes to interacting with female guests. Recent incidents involving TV hosts crossing this line have sparked conversations about the need for boundaries and respect in the industry.

One such incident unfolded on the chat show ‘Public Demand‘, hosted by Mohsin Abbas Haider, where singer Shazia Manzoor found herself at the receiving end of inappropriate remarks from co-host Sherry Nanha. Manzoor’s reaction was swift and unequivocal, as she rightfully called out Nanha for talking about her honeymoon. The incident not only highlighted the importance of maintaining decorum but also shed light on the prevalence of such behaviour in the industry.

Netizens were quick to weigh in, expressing dismay at Nanha’s remarks and questioning the intent behind such exchanges. While some viewed it as a publicity stunt orchestrated by the show’s producers, others emphasized the need for accountability and professionalism in hosting. During the interview, it was eventually disclosed that it was a prank and everyone was in on it. However, we believe that there should be certain boundaries observed, especially when certain guests are involved. The need to attract viewers through such pranks seems rather peculiar. This incident has sparked a discussion about whether there should be limits on scripts.

Similarly, another incident involving Mariyam Nafees on Tabish Hashmi’s show ‘Hasna Mana Hai’ underscored the need for hosts to exercise restraint and sensitivity. A light-hearted discussion about cricket teams took an uncomfortable turn when Hashmi made a suggestive remark about Nafees’s husband, crossing the boundaries of professionalism and respect.

During the show, Hashmi asked Nafees which cricket teams she supports in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). She said Islamabad and Lahore because of her family. Tabish then jokingly asked her why she didn’t support Karachi, her husband’s city. Mariyam explained that she doesn’t support Karachi Kings because they don’t play well. However, Tabish went too far and made a comment on TV that made people uncomfortable. He hinted that Mariyam’s husband, being from Karachi, couldn’t “perform” well, suggestively using the term.

While humour is an integral part of entertainment, it should never come at the expense of someone’s dignity or comfort. The incidents involving Manzoor and Nafees serve as stark reminders of the importance of establishing clear boundaries and fostering a culture of mutual respect in television hosting.

Physical violence, as witnessed in Manzoor’s reaction, is never acceptable, regardless of the circumstances. However, it’s equally crucial for hosts to recognise their responsibility in creating a safe and respectful environment for their guests.

In a world where television personalities wield significant influence, it’s imperative that they use their platforms responsibly and refrain from perpetuating harmful stereotypes or engaging in inappropriate behaviour. By adhering to professional standards and exercising empathy and understanding, hosts can ensure that their shows remain entertaining without compromising on integrity or respect.


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