Star scandals or flood relief? Artists divided on which issues deserve limelight during catastrophe

Many celebrities called out the needless hype surrounding 'scandals' that eventually take away from real issues

Entertainment Desk September 24, 2022

The beginning of fall brought doom upon the entertainment industry with multiple people being called out for their alleged vices. The list of accusations levelled against actors and musicians in the industry had everyone talking about its legitimacy of it, with fans being divided over whether their favourite star would ever be a part of domestic violence, psychological abuse, infidelity, cheating or not. 

For context, a few days after singer Aima Baig confirmed her split with ex-fiancé Shahbaz Shigri on social media, a British supermodel Tloulah Mair accused her of cheating on Shigri with her ex-boyfriend, filmmaker Qes Ahmed. Mair posted videos and images of their conversations together that eventually resulted in brutal trolling for the Baazi singer. While fans were wrapping their head around the Baig-Shigri-Ahmed chaos, actor Feroze Khan’s ex-wife shared a statement about how she had been a victim of domestic violence for a long time at the hands of her former husband. The Khuda Aur Muhabbat actor denied the claims. 

These huge claims initiated a meme fest on Twitter, turning all eyes and conversations on the victims and accused. But just like fans, celebrities were divided too — and not just on which artist to support but also on the needless hype surrounding “scandals” that eventually take away from real issues of floods and human and animal abuse in the country. While others spoke about how “airing dirty laundry” isn’t the same as speaking up against patriarchal violence, and the latter needs to come out. 

Actor Ushna Shah took to the bird app to highlight how the “obsession” over famous people’s relationships overshadowed the news of a dog shelter attacked in Lahore. “While everyone is busy obsessing over famous people’s relationships, nobody is reporting the heinous act of a dog rescue shelter being mercilessly attacked in Lahore. 90% of the dogs, mothers and puppies included killed, brutally with bricks and poison! FIR refused by police,” she wrote. 

Commenting on the same, actor Ghana Ali shared Shah’s tweet on her Instagram Stories and wrote, “It’s all because we care about controversies more, we thoroughly enjoy them. That's who we are,” with a shameful emoji. 

Singer Natasha Baig also added that “this country is messed up when it comes to law and order.” The 30-year-old singer said she’s slowly “losing her will” to live on this planet. “Afsos Pakistan, [It’s sad, Pakistan]. There are no human rights and no animal rights. I lose the will to live on this planet every day,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories. 

Zunaira Inam Khan, actor Usman Mukhtar’s wife, was rather enraged about how in a time of calamity when international actors are visiting the flood-affected areas, all Pakistani Twitter can seem to give importance to is a “celebrity scandal.” Her tweet stated, “The fact that Angelina Jolie is visiting Pakistan to raise awareness about the floods and the top trend on Twitter is about a celebrity scandal. Why should the world care about the flood in Pakistan when we don't?”

The Chupke Chupke actor Arsalan Naseer also shared his two cents on the matter. “Larki larkay ko expose ker rahi hai , larkay ke dost larki ko expose ker rahay hain, biwi shohar ko expose ker rahi hai shohar ke dost biwi ko, aur hum? Hum sab Beth ke mazay le rahay hain [The girl is exposing the guy, the guy’s friends are exposing the girl, a wife is exposing her husband, while the husband’s friends are doing the same to his partner, and we? We’re all enjoying it],” read his tweet. 

Reminding people that it’s easy to comment and make fun of others behind a screen but a nightmare if the situation happens to you, he added, “Auro ke parday qaaim rakho takay Allah tumharey parday qaaim rakhey [Hide other’s secrets so God hides yours.]”  

Designer-turned-actor Hassan Sheheryar Yasin also took to the photo-sharing app with a thought. “Let’s please stop talking about other people’s private and try minding our own business,” he wrote. 

On the other hand, the Ae Qaatil Haseenaon ke Naam actor Meharbano who earlier wrote about how Feroze essaying toxic characters on screen was exactly how he was as a person as well, wrote about how human rights violations shouldn’t be confused with “airing dirty laundry.” 

Taking to her Instagram Stories, she wrote, “Confusing human rights violation with ‘airing dirty laundry’ is actually a classic way to absolve yourself of any responsibility you have to protect women. Patriarchal violence is NOT a domestic matter. It’s a social and political matter, just like murder, rape, battery etc.”

Echoing Meharbano’s words, former model Iffat Omar also posted in support of Feroze’s wife, Aliza Sultan. “I am totally with the wife and can easily imagine him being abusive as I’ve worked with him.” 

With how fast-paced the internet is, it’s important to prioritise which information deserves the most attention and is positively impacting society rather than enjoying gossip when it's hurting others and overshadowing issues that warrant the limelight.

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