Actor and singer Mohsin Abbas Haider was recently dropped from the lineup of hosts on the evening talk show Mazaq Raat after his wife's alleged domestic abuse and violence, but that hasn't stopped other shows from milking the case for (bad) content.
This week, GNN's show Joke Dar Joke aired a sketch with the hosts grilling onstage a fictional film director, Matkoo, and his ostensibly battered wife.
As the director's wife detailed her husband's infidelity and violence against her, the show's hosts continually cut her off, justified the abuse, asked her to change her tone and generally not whine so much about how much physical and emotional pain she was in.
One host commented that if the wife continued to call out to others about what happened to her, then it was a matter of fact that she would receive a further beating — and that while she can convey her pain, it should be with a pretty face that doesn't make others uncomfortable. Yikes.
Further into the segment, it was revealed that the director also recorded his wife being abused, supposedly for the sake of "authenticity" to include in his hard-hitting films. On the other hand, the fact that the couple's marriage was one of choice — a "love marriage" — is taken for granted, as if such a violence can preclude abuse.
Comedy and satire have the implicit goal to point out the absurd, to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Domestic violence is a serious topic not to be taken lightly and is a real, ongoing experience for many. By punching down instead of up, Joke Dar Joke seems to have lost its way and veered into the territory of extremely bad taste.