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Filmmaker Jami Dumps LSA Award On Road In Solidarity With Harassment Victims

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Filmmaker Jami has become the latest celeb in a growing list to protest Lux Style Awards by discarding the LSA trophy that he won for the film Moor. The director took to Twitter and shared a picture of the award lying on a busy road outside his house.  The caption of the picture read: “Lux Award for Best film Moor is now on the road outside my gate. We believe and stand by our Women stories!”

Jami shared the same picture on Facebook and the post under it states: “Lux award —- yes here u go! We promised and let’s hope someone picks it. For us its done We stand by our women and their word!!”

Celebs that are boycotting the country top awards over the nomination of accused sexual harasser Ali Zafar has grown to seven. The protest was initiated by model Eman Suleman when she withdrew her name from LSA’s nominees list. Clothing brand Generation, makeup artist Saima Bargfrede, singer Meesha Shafi, folk band The Sketches and makeup artist Fatima Nasir followed suit.

Zafar was accused last year by Shafi. Shafi, while announced her boycott of the awards on Tuesday, thanked Suleman for intimating the protest and the others for following her example. “I want to thank Eman Suleman. What she, Generation and Saima Bargfrede have said and done is what I consider my award. In a perfect world, I would love to see women retain their space in the industry while being safe, so that the cost of speaking up is minimized, or even done away with altogether. A cost which is all too high at present. Our boycotts should not overshadow our achievements. With brave women like these, I feel optimistic about getting there one day,” she tweeted,

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Meanwhile, LSA’s film jury released a statement defending their decision to nominate Zafar in the best actor category, despite the harassment allegation against him.

“The LSA film jury joins the Lux brand and Unilever Pakistan in condemning all acts of intolerance, discrimination or harassment. However, it is also important to emphasise that the decisions of the film jury were based on an assessment of the merits of the cinematic work. We do not consider any other extraneous issues related to the personal characters or actions of people associated with that work.”

Netizens took to Twitter in criticism of the official LSA film jury statement.

It is heartening to see Pakistani celebs standing for a cause they believe in, however there are some who are of a different thought. One of the country’s top model Iman Ali, labelling the protest as a publicity stunt wrote on Instagram: “A platform that has made it too easy for some to become a part of a controversy or join a bandwagon and become famous overnight; potentially ruining someone’s life or body of work in minutes. Fame and respect should be earned with hard work in time, not by childish walk outs and social media posts playing judge, jury and executioner.”

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She was called out by Eman Suleman who while commenting on Ali’s post wrote: “What about the victims who have suffered at the hands of perpetrators in this industry, and other work places? They never got the chance to work hard and achieve what they could. Instead, the victims ostracised.”

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