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Fahad Mustafa Faces Backlash For New Drama Dismissing #MeToo Movement

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Actor and producer Fahad Mustafa’s new production — a drama called ‘Dunk’, based on a false sexual harassment allegation, has raised eyebrows on social media.Though it’s a new play, it isn’t that much different from the already airing ones. It may not have cheating spouses, women lusting after their sisters’ husbands or the all-time favorite daughter mother in law spats, but it is just as problematic as all of the other Pakistani shows are — or maybe worse.

Only one episode of the show has aired yet and it is quite clear what the track of the show would be. Starring Noman Ijaz as the protagonist who plays the role of a professor wrongly accused of sexual harassment, the show will focus on how these allegations affect both his professional and personal lives. Since the teaser of the show came out, people had begin criticising it for belittling the grave issue of sexual harassment. Critics say that the storyline peddles the narrative that women generally lie about sexual harassment to settles scores with men whom they name as harassers.

Some, the intended audience mostly, don’t see anything wrong with it as it is, after all, showing the hardships of the 5% of people who get wrongly accused and some, who believe that once media has portrayed the stories of 95% of people who get sexually harassed should the stories of the 5% should be shown, have called out the show and its creators. The latter lot has taken to Twitter to express their opinion on the show and the misogynistic nature of most Pakistani shows.

Fahad Mustafa, the producer of the show has said that Dunk is a “tribute to victims who have been wrongly accused and as a producer, it is his responsibility to tell every kind of story.” He went on to say that brands should take a stand and set an example by working with the people who have been falsely accused of sexual harassment, to support them and clear their name.

Given Fahad’s sympathy for the wrongly accused, it would’ve been better if he was as sympathetic for the victims of harassment as well because false allegations are a rare occurrence while real harassment cases are commonplace. In a country where the #metoo movement is ridiculed at every step and where no one ever believes the victim without raising questions about their honor and dignity, we don’t see how there was a need for a show showing the MeToo movement being manipulated for personal interests. It’s not that people are not wrongly accused and their stories should not be told, it’s just that we aren’t telling the stories of 98% of women who get harassed in schools, at workplaces, in their own houses at the hands of their own family members. If the Jeeto Pakistan host was so adamant about telling men’s stories, he could’ve produced a show showcasing how they’re also victims of harassment, be it sexual or verbal. But no, he decided to do what most men here do — undermine women’s voices.

And it is not only him, the trend of how easy it is for women to wrongly accuse a man is prevalent in many of the current shows airing in Pakistan.

The best response to the drama however, was this satircal tweet.

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Naya Daur