Sajal Ali and Ahad Raza Mir won widespread admiration with their roles in megahit serial “yakeen ka safar”. Their theatricals individually and as a couple were acclaimed and loved exceptionally.
Since then, fans have been waiting to see the real/reel life couple on screens. Although the duo was seen together in period drama serial “Angan”, the show per se, didn’t impress the viewers much due to many factors.
But that’s another story.
Yesterday, a teaser of the couple’s new project dropped by. Written by Farhat Ishtiaq, “yeh dil mera” will soon hit the screens on HUM TV. “Sahad” admirers rejoiced on the news and expressed their happiness on seeing them together again in a project.
— Sajal Ali (@Iamsajalali) October 19, 2019
“Sahad” admirers rejoiced on the news and expressed their happiness on seeing them together again in a project.
— FaizuKiShadi💃 (@haniyajilani) October 19, 2019
However the teaser sort of backfired when people starting pointing out how subtly it is promoting workplace harassment.
The teaser shows Sajal in an interview with Ahad as her interviewer, asking some pretty profane questions. And Twitterati was quick to point out the wrongs in it.
My 45yo boss once told me "aap ne aj tou bara acha colour pehna hua hai". Another, in his late 20s, used to stare at us. Yet another used to flirt, was kinda handsy in a subtle way (media's full of such men). Stop romanticising harassment. This is not cool, not romantic. https://t.co/XtqorfqE0V
— Sindhu (@Sindhu_Abasi) October 20, 2019
People are sharing their stories of how they were harassed by their bosses and how this is so disturbing.
This is what a mediocre person in our society fantasise himself of doing in a position of power and this story only reinforce his way thinking. Rather than highlighting the real social problems, mainstream TV channels are normalising and romanticising workplace harrasment. Wow!
— Danyal. (@PainduBourgeois) October 20, 2019
TV channels are being called out for romanticizing workplace harassment.
Some termed it as a desi version of “50 shades of Grey”. Yani too much he hogaya!
Is it fifty shades of gray paki version?!?
— Habibah Qamar (@Qamarhabibah) October 20, 2019
50 shades of grey the Halal version
— Usman (@death_notee) October 20, 2019
Some even pointed out how flawed the whole interview act is. From clothes to its professional structure, nothing went well with the onlookers.
Who wears such clothes for an interview? Which boss asks such questions? What kind of drama is this?
— abc230 (@abc2305) October 20, 2019
If somebody dared to ask me such questions in an interview, I'd have walked out. It is so cringy.
— Regina Phalange (@farwakanwal) October 20, 2019
Such was the intensity of the backlash that the writer herself came out and clarified that she would never pen down anything that will ever romanticize harassment or misogyny.
Thanks for your confidence. Insha Allah will never romanticize rape, sexual harassment, misogyny
— Farhat Ishtiaq (@FarhatIshtiaq) October 20, 2019
As they say never judge a book by its cover, it is too soon to say whether or not the drama is inadvertently glorifying workplace harassment. We do hope however, that the makers realize the sensitivity of such issues and handle them with maturity. The content makers need to put more thought while drafting the story and incorporating elements like these, in future.