Actor Mirza Gohar Rasheed shared his thoughts on a scene from his drama Laapata that has gone viral on social media. The scene in question involves him getting slapped by actor Sarah Khan after hitting her.
Drama serial Laapata is currently airing on Hum TV and stars Rasheed, Sarah Khan, Ayeza Khan and Ali Rehman Khan. In the drama's latest episode, Rasheed's character Daniyal is on the receiving end of a slap from Falak (played by Sarah) after he slaps her.
Rasheed posted a video of the scene alongside a message on Instagram. "I hate the display of physical abuse on television," he wrote. "This is why I have always refrained from doing it in at least my own characters. It’s unfortunate but it has been done so frequently on our television that it’s almost become a subconscious reality for us. Apparently, physically abusing women is “fine” and any misogynistic, spineless man can get away with it, just like Daniyal thought in yesterday’s episode of Laapata.
"It may sound strange but the slap scene was the only reason as to why I took up the character of Daniyal, to prove that oppression is a choice," he continued. "If any insecure man with his fragile ego tries his 'so called' muscles on you, make the choice that Falak did, without any fear! One tight slap back from a brave woman to such a weak man in our society would be a giant leap for women kind. We need such examples to be made by such women of strength, to empower women for their own safety, their well being [and] self respect. A scene [like this] that is so powerful, I hope that it’s effect is even more impactful on our women."
The slap has stirred up controversy on social media. While the scene has garnered many, many supporters who are cheering for a woman standing up for herself — a feat that is rarely seen on Pakistani television — it has also gained critics who believe violence in any form should not be condoned.
This isn't the first time a scene from Laapata has caught everyone's attention on the internet. Ayeza became the subject of backlash and controversy when her character falsely accused a shopkeeper of harassment in the same drama.
While we appreciate the intention behind scene — to empower women to stand against abuse — we do not condone violence in any shape or form. Just like the infamous false harassment scene, we wish the drama had tackled this issue in a slightly different way.