Unilever Pakistan has released a statement today addressing the controversy over an alleged sexual harasser's nomination in Lux Style Awards 2019. Unilever Pakistan sponsors the annual fashion and entertainment award show.
Seven nominees of this year's LSAs have rejected their nominations, with former awardee Jami Mahmood tossing out one of his statuettes onto the street in protest.
Addressing the controversy, the statement reads, "Respect, dignity and fair treatment are core principles at Unilever Pakistan. We expect all our employees, partners, customers and associates to adhere to the principles. Any allegation of misconduct on anyone associated with Unilever Pakistan or our brands, is taken very seriously."
The statement further says, "The nominations for the Lux Style Awards are decided by an independent and transparent Jury of industry peers and critics. The members of the Jury for 2019 were chosen by an independent Board of Governors. Neither the Lux Style Awards nor Unilever Pakistan has ever intruded in the Jury's independence, and we continue to respect their decisions."
It ends with, "We are aware of the case involving Mr Ali Zafar and Ms Meesha Shafi. The matter is presently sub judice and it would not be appropriate to comment on it."
Earlier in April, the LSA film jury released an independent statement that stated: "The LSA film jury joins the Lux brand and Unilever Pakistan in condemning all acts of intolerance, discrimination or harassment. However, it is also important to emphasise that the decisions of the film jury were based on an assessment of the merits of the cinematic work. We do not consider any other extraneous issues related to the personal characters or actions of people associated with that work."