In a recent interview with Fuchsia Magazine, actors Ali Abbas and Laiba Khan put in their two cents on public acceptance of romantic portrayals on Pakistani television. Celebrities have hit back at online backlash and trolling against intimate scenes in TV dramas, calling the outrage hypocritical.
The actors pointed out that Pakistani TV dramas often depict subtle and conservative forms of romance, such as hand-holding or gentle touches on the shoulders, yet these scenes often face harsh criticism from viewers. At the same time, these same viewers indulge in and value more overtly romantic content, evidenced by their enthusiasm for shows such as 365 Days on Netflix.
“What are we really showing?” Just holding hands? At most put our hands on someone’s shoulders?’ he asked, contrasting local familiar content with Western media.
“Believe me, if we do that, despite being actors, we feel very uncomfortable,” she commented as Khan shared, “When the shooting of the scene ends, we laugh uncomfortably, what was that?” expanding on how relieved actors feel when shooting even slightly intimate scenes is over.
The Naqab Jean The actor said, “You don’t mind watching romance on Netflix. Your views make series like 365 Days trend, but if the actors here even hold hands, the backlash is immediate and loud,” Abbas said, referring to the intense vitriol from trolling strangers.
“My question to the trolls is: Why do you watch TV? Why are you on Instagram in the first place? If it’s such an unethical platform, why don’t you delete your accounts?” Abbas remarked, agreeing with Khan. “If a girl uploads a photo in a shalwar kameez, her reach is small, but if she shares a sleeveless photo, it attracts a flood of likes, followed by the ‘morality police’ right below.”
“Who told you the girl wears a sleeveless top?” That means you were there to scrutinize her like an ‘ultrasound’ so you can comment below that this looks very wrong,” the actor argued, blasting the moralizing attitudes of netizens.
Khan discussed the curious trend among hostile Internet users, where they often engage in content they find objectionable. “You have followed this content. you will talk about that too,” he said, pressing the need to change attitudes. “We have to understand that we have to stop seeing and talking about what we find wrong,” he said.
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