Entertainment

Soul Sisters Pakistan Founder Slams Drama Chupke Chupke.

Kanwal Ahmed, founder of Soul Sisters Pakistan, recently tweeted against new television serial Chupke Chupke.

The 31-year-old – who was selected by Facebook as one of its 115 “Community Leaders” using the social network to help others through her group Soul Sisters Pakistan (SSP) – called out the serial for “disempowering audiences by reinforcing problematic stereotypes.”

She referred to the character of a man who is recurrently belittled in the drama for staying with his in-laws, and connected it to the situation of a woman on SSP, who complained about not being able to take care of her aging parents because she couldn’t move back in with them.

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But actor and writer Osman Khalid Butt – who plays the leading character in Chupke Chupke – has responded to her tweet explaining why in the context of the drama, the ‘ghar damad’ is not the victim. “This is an interesting take. However, it’s important to mention that this ‘ghar damad’ refuses to work despite being offered a job in the family business. He isn’t with his in-laws because of financial (or any) duress and while he’s played for broad comedy, he has his own arc.”

After thanking Butt for his response, Ahmed then argued the character’s incompetence is to deliberately put him in a bad light to validate age-old stereotypes. “Thanks for the response, Osman. My concern though is that comedy that identifies with problematic, existing stereotypes reinforces them in society. For example, how many men would want to be ‘ghar damads’ after watching this?” she asked.

So in response, Butt agreed that the take on the stereotype was not as nuanced as it should have been.

“But viewers will also be considering the fact that his wife is shown to be quite obviously dominating / demeaning (which she’s called out on, albeit in a comedic manner). And he’s a slacker, no?” argued the actor.

Although the two are yet to reach a cohesive conclusion, it won’t be wrong to say our TV screens are yet to project behaviour that does not conform to societal norms in the positive light.

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