Fahad Mustafa Faces Backlash For New Drama Dismissing #MeToo Movement
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.
if fahad mustafa really wants to tell every kind of story why hasn’t he produced something centred around male sexual assault victims? if this truly is about “men’s issues” why not the fact that until very recently, there was no law to penalise male rape?
— j. (@shahitukray) December 25, 2020
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.
Just saw the news that Fahad Mustafa is working on a drama named dunk which shows how women exploit the #MeToo movement. Seriously? In a country where harassment and rape us rampant, you'd make a drama on fake allegations? Wow men of this country are amazing 10/10 pRoTeCtOrS
— Meph⚓ (@UnitedsFreak) December 23, 2020
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.
ARY airing a drama (DUNK) about false allegations of harassment claiming to raise awareness about false allegations as if most of our public doesnt already dismiss 90% of the cases by labelling them false.
— ipog (@GumnaamHoshyar) December 24, 2020
fahad mustafa the type of guy who'll make dramas about 0.01 germ that doesn't die
— anastipu (@teepusahab) December 24, 2020
98 percent cases of harassment are real and trashy Fahad mustafa only chooses to look at the remaining two percent and create awareness about it. Disgusting.
— Maryam (@BefourMaryam) December 24, 2020
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.
It's not just Dunk, btw. Did anyone see today's episode of @Humtvnetwork 's "Be Adab"? Daughter-in-law accuses father-in-law of sexual assault just to get her mother-in-laws jewlerry. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/1JpMY7RYUf
— – (@maulana_banana) December 25, 2020
The best response to the drama however, was this satircal tweet.
— The Dependent (@dependent_the) December 26, 2020