PEMRA Blocks Webseries ‘Churails’ Over ‘Indecent Content’

Web series ‘Churails’ which received critical acclaim, for its unconventional portrayal of women has been taken down by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) under allegations of indecent content. The series that was being aired on international entertainment network ZEE5 has been blocked for Pakistani viewers.

Churails is a drama about four Pakistani women who after undergoing numerous hardships due to the harsh patriarchal structures of society band together to form a detective agency to catch philandering husbands. The series received praise for addressing various societal issues and showing women as empowered beings. However, the series is also infamous for its sexual innuendos and indecent language. Recently clips of the drama which included descriptions of sexual acts have been making rounds on social media. Many social media users have declared this type of content to be immoral and criticized PEMRA for turning a blind eye.

As a response, PEMRA declared the series indecent. According to ZEE5 the drama has been taken down in Pakistan due to content censorship laws. PEMRA has the power to impose restrictions on Pakistani entertainment content in the interest of the religion, the integrity and national security of Pakistan according to Article 19 of the Constitution. Although PEMRA does not have the jurisdiction to censor international content it is able to control what can be seen by Pakistani viewers.

PEMRA’s actions have led to a fury of criticisms from Pakistani’s who are speaking against the authorities’ draconian control of entertainment content. Netizen's are expressing resentment towards PEMRA's actions on various social media platforms, including Twitter.

Recently PEMRA also came under fire for expressing displeasure over a biscuit advertisement. They stated that the content of the advertisement was not corresponding to the nature of the product and warned broadcasters to be vary of this in the future.