If He Can’t Stand Dancing Why Is Hamza Ali Abbasi Judging a Talent Show?
Reality television requires drama to succeed and talent shows are no exception. We all remember Somin Cowell for his forthright and often rude remarks to hopefuls of American idol. Although Cowell often came under fire for being “unnecessarily cruel”, he never lectured anyone on their morals.
But while the distinction between art and morals is clear to most people especially artists, usually the most enlightened people among the society, there is an exception. But what kind of artist would blur the line between art and morals, you might ask. Well, none other than Hamza Ali Abbasi, of course. The actor, who often dons the persona of a political pundit is known for his far-right beliefs, however this time even Abbasi has outdone himself in douchiness.
The Waar actor, along with Kubra Khan and veteran actor Javed Sheikh are the judges of Pakistan Star. Pakistan Star inspired from reality shows like America’s Got Talent and India’s Got Talent, airs on Bol Entertainment.
The controversial moment occurred when the 16-year-old, Sany Yousuf, auditioned for Pakistan Star with a dance performance on Mehwish Hayat’s item number Billi from Na Maloom Afraad. While Sheikh lauded the young contestant’s efforts and Khan appreciated the 16-year-old for being confident enough to perform on such a platform, Abbasi decided to get on his high-horse and delivered the poor teenager a ‘lecture on morals’.
“Before I give my verdict, I want give a little lecture,” the actor started. “You can disagree with me, it’s just my own opinion. I’m begging all our producers and directors to not add item numbers in Pakistani films. You’re 16 and you’re dancing on the same. Keeping your talent aside, I feel very disheartened as someone who works in showbiz and include such songs. I apologise to you.”
The West can do whatever they want but it’s better if we don’t follow suit, in order for our youth to have something better to look up to, he added.
The poor girl thought she was auditioning for a talent show and instead she had to listen to a sermon from a wannabe preacher. The other judges especially Javed Sheikh looked embarrassed and probably felt sorry for the 16-year-old. We wish he had turned towards Abassi and said, “Hamza, you are a judge of a show that is trying to find the next Pakistan Star not the next Pakistan mulla”.
Abbasi continued his rant for a while against item songs. And while we agree that item songs objectify women and have suggestive and often offensive lyrics, embarrassing a young teenager on a national platform is not okay either.
The actor should keep in mind that his job as a judge is to find, nurture and encourage young talents in the country, instead of shaming them.