There was no shortage of people calling out actor Resham for throwing plastic waste into a river, including activist Shaniera Akram. A few days after her video went viral, the actor apologised. However, Akram continued to tweet about the issue, leading to actor Armeena Khan calling her out for her “white saviour complex”.
Early on Wednesday, Akram took to Twitter and questioned who throws “meat and plastic rubbish into flood and disease affected river,” in response to Resham’s video.
She posted several tweets about the incident.
The Bin Roye actor called the activist out for tweeting three times successively within the course of 12 hours about someone who she knows she “can’t attack back”. She wondered what was she really after.
In a now deleted tweet screenshotted by Galaxy Lollywood, Khan said she was sick of women with “white saviour complexes”. “She’s put up her minions to attack me. Pathetic,” she wrote.
The day after Resham posted her apology, Akram wrote that it was “very concerning to watch” Resham ignorantly throwing plastic into a river especially when Pakistan is suffering from extreme effects of climate change.
“But seeing so many people get offended by her actions makes me believe the future of Pakistan is in good hands,” she wrote.
Khan wrote on Twitter that evening that everyone makes mistakes and if someone has apologised, one should learn to forgive instead of coming after someone.
Khan then issued a final statement, saying that the veteran actor has apologised twice and everyone knows how “instinctively littering is abominable” but said “many of us have done it at some point”.
Khan called littering a cultural and systemic problem in Pakistan and wrote, “incessantly attacking her [Resham] shows another problem with our people, not only do we litter but we also love bullying. Especially our own and kowtowing to self-appointed saviours. Instead of berating her publicly now, how many of you will go on to litter picking campaigns?”
She asked why people won’t join groups like Tearfund, an organisation working to aware people about tidying their environment and not littering, and Wasup, an organisation that teaches people how to recycle plastic products.
On Friday, Akram thanked Resham for what she did. “Without really knowing it, she single handedly produced a nation wide campaign on ‘what not to do with your rubbish’. Not even a company spending thousands on a clean Pakistan campaign could get the publicity she did,” she wrote.
She later acknowledged Resham’s apology and wrote she speaks for many when she says apology accepted. “It takes courage to admit when you have done something your not proud of. I hope you will work with us to help fight climate change and use your influence to help make Pakistan clean and green,” Akram said.
In the comment section of Galaxy Lollywood’s post, Resham thanked the Janaan actor for her support, to which she said she has apologised twice and doesn’t need to worry about “pathetic trolls”.
“They’ll [trolls] shout and scream for a couple of days till the next adversity hits them and what a shame that’ll be,” Khan wrote.
The viral video clip being discussed featured the actor stepping out of her car on the highway to distribute bread and meat she was carrying. What irked people was that as Resham stood by the edge of the flyover and recorded herself throwing the food into the river, she also threw the plastic containers and bags the food came in.
Prior to her apology video Resham had given an interview to The Friday Times where she said there are more pressing issues to worry about. “I am in Charsadda as we speak. I have been been quietly helping thousands affected in the calamity-hit district. But, of course, people are only interested in trolling me. I do a lot of good too,” she had reasoned.
On Wednesday, Resham took to Instagram and shared a clip of herself apologising to not only her followers but the entire nation. “First of all, please accept my apology because what happened shouldn’t have had happened. It happened out of carelessness and was not done intentionally and for that I apologise to the entire nation. I personally am against littering and to keep our country clean is our duty. I’m also a human and every human makes mistakes, so did I,” she had said.
She called it the “biggest mistake” of her career and said that she’ll try to make sure it never happens again. She ended her video with an apology from the “bottom of her heart”.