MeToo’s local impact?

Decisions like these not only help elevate a much needed movement like MeToo to an official level

Editorial/editorial November 15, 2018

The MeToo movement has taken the Indian media industry by storm. One of the many culprits to be exposed as a result of women opening up about their harsh experiences was veteran actor Alok Nath Nanda. Later on two other women accused Nath of sexual misconduct in their respective MeToo stories. After a lot of hue and cry in the industry, the Cine And TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA) has expelled Alok Nath in what is being called a landmark step.

Decisions like these not only help elevate a much needed movement like MeToo to an official level but also set the precedent for societies such as Pakistan, where toxic masculinity and harassment are equally prevalent. However, we are far from sobering up, not just as a country that recognises such movements but also one that is prepared for the aftermath. Pakistani entertainment industry, particularly music, film and theater doesn’t even have a single body like CINTAA whose membership or disassociation even matters.

Guilds, unions and associations aren’t there to begin with, let alone to decide the future of an alleged predator. And whether the industry should even consider blacklisting a person who has been accused by multiple victims or give him or her chance to clarify matters through an official platform.

The United Producers Association (UPA), which is always in the frontline to have Indian and Turkish content banned hasn’t even considered the various MeToo stories that are being discussed behind closed doors. The Film Producers Association of Pakistan (FPAP) is still fighting the Lahore vs Karachi, old guard versus the new guard battle and loosing at it. These are serious issues that require profound solutions and as an industry we aren’t prepared for any of it.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2018.

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