KARACHI: One would expect Yasir Hussain to be a person who learns from his mistakes. Particularly the ones that leave a scar that stays. Two years back at the 5th Hum Style Awards he made an extremely inappropriate remark regarding child sexual abuse and received deserving backlash for that.
This was the first time Yasir came under fire for his apparent ‘slip of tongue.’ And much to the audience’s dismay, his crass sense of humour hasn’t really improved.
Two years, more public backlashes later, Hussain finds himself in an eerily similar situation: no, he hasn’t learned and it doesn’t seem like he will anytime soon.
Here’s a recap of the actor’s statements that made our eyes roll.
2017: Hum Awards’ child sexual abuse ‘joke’
That night will always be remembered for the tasteless remark made by that year’s show host, who was none other than Hussain. Ahsan Khan won the award for his role in critically acclaimed serial Udaari, that tackled the taboo of child sexual abuse.
As the actor came up to receive the award for the Best Negative character, the Lahore Se Aagay actor felt the need to crack a poor joke.
“Itna khobsurat child molester, kash main bhi bacha hota… (Such a handsome child molester, I wish i was a child as well.)”, he said while pulling Khan’s cheeks.
Hussain later apologised on Instagram. He then shared, “I am just as against child abuse as you might be and should be. The joke I made is perceived differently than I had originally intended to. I apologise to Ahsan Bhai and the rest.”
Good step. Done and dusted.
The host of the night could have easily avoided this particular controversy if he simply would have congratulated Ahsan and moved on with the show. Because sometimes, less actually is more Yasir.
2019: Poking fun at transgenders
Yasir was riding high on the success of his recent Anwar Maqsood theatre play, Naach Naa Jaanay, when he shared he will be playing the role of a woman in an upcoming Eid telefilm and it was pretty impressive. Until he made a mockery out of the very same part.
Someone asked a very valid question to the actor, “Why don’t you guys hire ACTUAL transgenders?”
Now, there were two ways to go about this, either respond sensibly or mock the person. Can you guess which route Yasir took?
Yep, the latter.
“Matlab aap ko job chahiye? (Do you want the job?)”
What followed his response was a severe backlash by social media users where they called the actor out for “transphobic” jokes.
And what did Hussain do then? He apologised. Again, thoughtful step.
“By no means do I ever want to disrespect a gender that I have immense regard for,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Once the show is out you will be able to understand the character better and will know that my role has nothing to do with humiliating or mocking anyone.”
He continued, “We as public figures receive a lot of retaliation/negative comments and just because I chose to reply to a comment with a joke does not in any way mean that I have no respect for a certain gender.”
No, Yasir. You don’t actually have to turn everything into a joke. While you must be hoping that fans understand your side of the story, you should be aware of the responsibility you have as a public figure. Such statements only trivialise an already sensitive matter.
2019: Making a mockery of someone’s insecurities
The latest buffoonery by the actor was just plain thoughtless.
Hussain made a distasteful comment about a fellow colleague Hania Aamir who spoke up about her struggle with acne and anxiety in a brave post. He referred to Hania as ‘Danedaar‘, which means ‘poked skin’. Hussain’s words left us a little confused and made us wonder if the actor really understood the affect his one-liners can have on someone.
After commenting on Hania’s acne prone skin, the Parwaaz Hai Junoon actor called him out, asking him “to not make fun of people’s insecurities.”
Just when we thought Yasir couldn’t really say anything worst, he further went on to tell Hania that it wasn’t a ‘joke’ and called her too much of a ‘burger’ to not understand what he actually meant.
And no, he didn’t even address the issue on hand and decided to keep mum about it.
To sum up Hussain’s inappropriate encounters on public spaces, Hania’s own words serve the purpose: “It’s not funny. I’m not laughing, nobody is.”
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