15 Jun, 2021

Zara Noor Abbas and Asad Siddiqui aren't happy with the kind of content being produced in Pakistan. The couple were guests on Time Out With Ahsan Khan recently and spoke about the industry and its perks and shortcomings.

Abbas, who was known to hit back at criticism online, spoke about how she doesn't take it too personally anymore.

"I worked hard and started focusing on myself. When the same people who love you criticise you, you should understand that the criticism is coming from an honest place. It isn't personal," she said, adding that she took it as a reason to focus more, work harder on her dramas and understand, then overcome her own shortcomings.

Speaking about the fame that comes with her chosen profession, she added that the realisation of the magnitude of being Bushra Ansari's niece came much later. "It's only when I grew up that I realised the level of her popularity," she confessed, laughing that she would sometimes ask her aunt to pick her up from school only to "show off".

The couple weren't happy with the same stories being told again and again on screen, saying that if they had the power, they would show content that is different than just saas-bahu conflicts or second marriages.

"As an actor you should take responsibility for some things. You should not tell stories about marriages or spouses cheating, etc," said Abbas, adding that she is changing her choices and opting for better scripts.

"This is my prime concern," Siddiqui added. "Why don't we do things that can at least bring some benefit to the people watching them? If I'm showing the same story every day — there is rape happening in every drama — then what are we really doing?" he asked.

"It's done once, twice, then it's overdone. Till date, the saas is fighting with the bahu, there is a girl running away...I mean there are good things in these relationships too. Why do we always have to show the negative side of people?"

The Zebaish actor then went on to say that what is really beyond him is that the people who are making such content themselves watch Netflix or Amazon productions.

"You are watching that, and producing this?!" he asked, saying that if he had the power and was praising someone else's content so much, he would rather show something along those lines. "I think this is what the thought process should be."

His wife added how stories are now close to extinct in the industry. "Is it really necessary that every mother-in-law is fighting every daughter-in-law? One man is married abroad and he has a wife back home too?" she asked, exasperated. She said there are far too many stories that go unnoticed and untold because everyone jumps on the same overdone bandwagon.

"I don't understand what these ratings hold," Siddiqui added, refusing to believe that 220 million people want to watch the same kind of content over and over again. "This phenomenon is quite useless," he said.

Abbas then argued that sensationalising how a harasser preys on the victim at night and showing such content in detail gives people ideas. "You're showing these shots, you're making a montage of them. Don't show these things, don't sensationalise it," she said, adding that the message should be given in a subtle way if these topics need to be spoken about.