Director Nadeem Baig worked with Urwa Hocane for film Punjab Nahi Jaungi, released in 2017. About six years later, when asked about the celeb he has had the most difficulty working with, he picked her. The Meri Shehzadi actor felt targeted by him and called it out, saying actors face enough “unnecessary trolling” online without their colleagues “instigating the audience” as well.
On Friday, she shared a long note on Instagram, “speaking straight from the heart”. She opened up about her side of the story and wrote, “It’s so unfortunate that the formats of our shows are such that each member of the industry has to put the other down for the sake of ratings in the garb of fun. Now that it’s come to this, I would like to elaborate my side of [the] story. Nadeem bhai and I have only done one project together and had one difference [in] opinion about the song ‘Lak Hilna’ where we eventually went with his aesthetics, choice of song and the dance step[s] as I sensed he was unwilling to hold a discussion.”
Urwa feels that as a society, we have become intolerant to differences in opinion, especially when it’s coming from a woman. “Despite being extremely trolled for the song, I never threw my director under the bus out of respect for him. I am so hurt [by] how my personality is being misrepresented publicly merely for holding a healthy discussion on set which I believe is [the] basis to team work while in all these years it was never pointed out to me in person.”
She feels that it is on her for not realising early on that she was part of a toxic workplace where voicing one’s creative suggestions was frowned upon. “Today I am wise [enough] to not be at a workplace where I sense regressive and repulsive behaviour towards having an idea or input and where one’s voice is impulsively dismissed as a woman’s,” she added. “This may leave one with a few work options in our small industry but I’d rather be my true authentic self as I don’t know another way to be.”
The Udaari actor believes that life for actors is “hard enough” being in the public eye and “so prone to unnecessary trolling” at all times without her dear colleagues playing a part in “instigating the audience” further to “target” a certain individual. “It’s hurtful and malicious. I really hope this makes everyone understand that these games can actually be harmful for someone’s mental health and well being,” she said. Urwa encouraged celebrating and motivating each other instead, adding the hashtag #SAYNOTOBULLYING.
Baig appeared on The Fourth Umpire five days ago and in a segment titled Q&A with Nadeem Baig, he chose Urwa for two questions Fahad Mustafa asked. They were, “Which actor among these is the most difficult to work with — Urwa, Ayeza [Khan] or Mehwish Hayat?” and “Which actor among these drives out tears of blood during dance steps — Humayun Saeed, Gohar Rasheed or Urwa?”
Mawra Hocane, Urwa’s sister, dropped down in the comment section under her post and wrote, “I have personally witnessed you go through all of this and more.. Misunderstood and misrepresented.. Most of all.. being brave through all of it.. May you always lead the way with your strength and grace InshaAllah and always remember [that] honour and sustenance are in Allah’s hands… Just keep going.. I love you always..”
Urwa’s husband Farhan Saeed and actor Nadia Jamil also voiced their support under the post.
Baig has not responded to Urwa’s statement yet.