There’s no censor for TV, says Yasir Hussain on depiction of violence against women

There’s no censor for TV, says Yasir Hussain on depiction of violence against women

The actor said dramas have a wider range of influence since people can watch them for free and they go on for longer.
02 Mar, 2023

Women getting slapped, abused and humiliated has become a norm of sorts for Pakistani dramas and Yasir Hussain thinks it has got to do with the censor board being too occupied by films. The actor said such a depiction in dramas is more dangerous because dramas are not only free but they also are on air for longer, providing very strong means to shape minds.

The Javed Iqbal actor appeared on the FWhy Podcast and talked about stereotyping of women through their dressing. “What can I say about this? I am involved in an industry where if you want to show a modern girl, her hair will be short and she’ll be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. This is the criteria for being modern,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of modern women who wear shalwar kameez, their thinking and actions are very modern but they wear shalwar kameez — it doesn’t matter. Secondly, if you want to show a lying, corrupt woman in a drama, her hair will also be short and she’ll be a smoker. We are stereotyping ourselves, whatever female characters I’ve written, they have been very strong.”

Giving some examples of his female characters in Lahore Se Lahore, he talked about the depiction of women on TV. “Suddenly, our dramas have started depicting women like this. Because you can’t watch an entire drama of 26 episodes, so whoever will get a glimpse will say, ‘Do you see this girl? She’s so great, she’s cooking, taking slaps and not saying anything.’ You are showing such dramas yourself for TRPs, what is the need?”

He elaborated and said such shows make men think they will be loved even if they hit women. “I’m shocked that the hero is shown to be this kind of man in films — but see, you buy the ticket to go see a film of your own volition, one show spanning 26 episodes is available in your house for free and it goes on for six months, this makes up your mind.

“You’re showing that a guy can stop his car anywhere on the road and snatch a daughter from her father saying, ‘I will take you away’. He’s marrying her forcefully, hitting her and then the girl is also falling in love with him. You are showing that if you inflict such violence on a woman, she will fall in love with you. How will she fall in love with you, dude? This is so wrong,” he exclaimed.

Hussain talked about Indian film Kabir Singh and said it may have shown similar content but it had an age restriction. “The dramas on TV can be viewed by anyone and they’re free. A child can watch it and learn, as can an adult. Our entire censor board is fixated on films, there is no censor for TV. You can show anything on TV. A woman is getting beaten for the smallest of things, she is being humiliated and she’s loving her humiliator too. Our heroes are taking this to the real life too and hitting their wives, they think what’s happening in dramas is right,” he said.