Writer Nemrah Ahmad calls out Pakistani dramas for 'toxic hero culture', glorifying narcissistic men
The Pakistani drama industry may be slowly evolving but it's still clinging to the portrayal of abusive relationships and toxic male leads. Writer Nemrah Ahmad Niazi called out show creators and writers for this '"toxic hero culture" and said it needs to stop.
On Wednesday, the writer, known for her Urdu language novel Jannat Ke Pattay, took to Instagram and spoke about currently airing dramas with "toxic hero culture" and questioned "what is wrong with Pakistani dramas".
"A wealthy and handsome playboy keeps pursuing a middle class girl. He kidnaps her, stalks her, abuses her, he shouts at her, physically assaults her but he is still the hero In the end the hero wins over the girl. That is where these dramas end. Love wins. They call it Ishq," wrote the Namal author.
She also wrote that in real life, these toxic abusive partners "become Zahir Jaffar. They pursue Noor Mukaddam and they don't let go of them." Ahmad alluded that this was the case in drama serials Deewangi and Ishq Hai, both starring Danish Taimoor. She said the "actor could have thought twice before accepting" these plays.
She also pointed out the drama that has caught everyone's attention for its cringe-worthy storyline and display of abuse — Aye Musht-e-Khaak. Even meme-makers are having a go at it online as the drama has one of the most toxic heroes we've seen on screen — Bobby aka Mustajab, played by Feroze Khan.
"He only plays one kind of roles and in the end he is just glorified as a lover. He needs to be responsible enough to choose roles wisely," suggested Ahmad.
The writer even pointed towards telefilm Ruposh that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. "Now this new kid in this silly telefilm Ruposh. He literally pulls the heroine with her hair. Yes he did. And they showed it on national television. Yet he is a hero," she said.
The author emphasised that we need to "stop teaching women that they need to settle for such men because it is love. This is NOT love. This is obsession and psychopathic behaviour."
The writer ended her Instagram story with a suggestion that if there is a need to show such characters, then they should be the villains. "Teach girls how to come out of such relationships. Educate people about narcissistic behaviours. Tell girls that it is NOT okay to settle for such a man. But do not misguide a whole generation who consumes TV shows on daily basis, please."