Pemra, on Monday, released a notice categorising local TV serials ‘for not depicting the true picture of Pakistan.’
The regulatory authority issued a notice, saying that the “the Pakistani TV industry has always been recognised/appreciated for its quality and diversification.”
“However, over the time, it has been observed that the quality of Pakistani dramas is deteriorating every day,” the notice read. “Themes of Pakistani dramas are quite bold and not reflective of majority of Pakistani society. Unnecessary glamour, bold scenes are being shown in the drama, ignoring religious, social, cultural and ethical values of the country.”
The notice further said, “Pemra is receiving numerous complaints from general public. Viewers are of the opinion that dramas are not depicting the true picture of Pakistani society. Indecent scenes, dialogues, extramarital relations, violence and exploitation are being glamourised, ignoring ethical bindings of Pakistani society as well Pemra laws.”
Actor Osman Khalid Butt had a thought or two about the aforementioned notice.
“What, pray tell, is the ‘true picture of Pakistani society’?” the Baaghi star tweeted. “Not every drama serial is meant to be watched with the family. Pinky and Babloo can be put to bed before, no? How is television content expected to diversify when we get sweeping generalisations like this.”
“Friendly reminder that this is the same body that tried to ban Udaari because of similar ‘complaints’ from naik parveens et al. Good television with strong content holds a mirror up to society, and is meant to be uncomfortable. If you don’t like what you see, change the channel,” he further added.
A Twitter user, Ghayyoor ul Haq, went on to agree with Pemra’s concerns and responded to the 32-year-old actor.
“As a grown up, watching Udaari, with my parents made me really uncomfortable. It was aired on the Prime time slot, on the biggest drama channel. Ofcourse I could change the channel, but I could’ve also had family oriented nice drama instead of that,” Haq penned.
To this, Butt retorted, “It made you uncomfortable? Good.”
“Agreeing with half of your statement, but showing extra martial affairs, love affairs and violence is just so extra and over the top in Pakistani dramas. Literally every story revolves around love, marriage, extramartial affair then divorce and to be honest that’s literally enough!” said another user, Nayab Fatima.
“Only extramarital affairs exist, violence exists, love affairs happen everywhere around us,” the Balu Mahi star wrote. “Yes, we can do away with the schlock, but there’s a sordid history with PEMRA and such complaints. Statements like these are discouraging to those wanting to diversify.”
Previously, few dramas, such as Baaghi and Udaari, which highlighted social issues such as honour killing and child abuse, were criticised heavily by the audience for being too brash.
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