News of Yasir Hussain's character in upcoming telefilm Help Me Durdana has caught like wildfire - but for all the wrong reasons.
The star, who is set to play a dual role of "a boy who due to some circumstances has to impersonate his mother," has been bombarded with questions on social media with fans asking why a transgender person was not cast for the role.
Some of the comments read: "There are plenty of trans women to cast, but yet again they chose a cis male. Disappointed, not surprised," and "You could've stepped down from the role and let an actual transgender person play it, but nah, you had to make sure that there's zero trans representation in the media."
Amidst the controversy, Yasir was compelled to explain and shared on Instagram, "I am not playing the role of a transgender and by no means do I ever want to disrespect a gender that I have immense regard for."
"I just wanted to clear the misconceptions that some people have about my recent role. The images that you have seen over social media of me wearing a saree are for a project in which I am playing the role of my mother."
The actor added, "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."
"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. Other negative comments that we receive are never made a controversy out of so this also shouldn’t be. It is just a character intended for humour and nothing else. Hope this clears the doubts that some people have."
The backlash caused the actor to turn off the comments under his Instagram post.