Tere Bin producer tells viewers to ‘stop jumping to conclusions’ about the show

Tere Bin producer tells viewers to ‘stop jumping to conclusions’ about the show

The drama has been getting near constant backlash from viewers ever since the promo for the upcoming episode implied the inclusion of a marital rape scene.
24 May, 2023

Tere Bin has gone from everyone’s favourite show to everyone’s favourite thing to hate on after a promo for the upcoming 47th episode implied that there is a marital rape scene in the drama. But despite the trailer, the show’s producer, Abdullah Kadwani, has asked people not to jump to conclusions.

Since it began airing in December on Geo TV, the drama has been known for its gripping narrative and compelling characters. Its popularity is not limited to Pakistan — people all over the world have been swooning over the chemistry between Meerab, played by Yumna Zaidi, and Murtasim, played by Wahaj Ali. However, the last episode changed almost everyone’s opinion.

As episode 46 concluded, Meerab slapped Murtasim and spat on his face during an argument. In response, we saw Murtasim grow furious and push Meerab onto the bed and then close the door. The scene implied that marital rape or assault would take place in the next episode. The upcoming episode’s promo also supports this theory as it shows Meerab sitting distraught. This created an uproar on social media for the alleged casual and insensitive portrayal of such a sensitive subject.

Many viewers expressed their dismay and outrage, making “ShameOnTereBin” trend on Twitter not only in Pakistan but also in India. People argued that the show has failed to handle the subject matter with the seriousness and sensitivity it deserves, potentially trivialising the trauma experienced by survivors of sexual assault.

After days of criticism, producer Kadwani tweeted, urging people not to make assumptions before watching the episode. “We love and respect our audience. We urge them to wait for the next episode of Tere Bin and please stop jumping to conclusions,” he wrote.

But a single tweet wasn’t enough for fans as Twitter users continued showing their disappointment. People demanded that the creators be held accountable for handling the subject insensitively and using it as clickbait to gain traction.

After the outrage, the writer of the drama, Nooran Makhdoom said in an interview with Arab News, “If the audience isn’t getting it, I can’t change it.” Calling it “just a drama”, she said viewers should “wait for the entire story to unfold instead of taking issue with every episode.”

“It’s not like this has happened onscreen for the first time,” she added. “It’s just that this project has received such wide recognition that people reacted strongly to the recent twist.”

Makhdoom also shared that the infamous spitting and slapping scene in the last episode wasn’t included in the original script. It was tweaked during shooting and she stands by the scene and the script. “And this is not an unusual occurrence; it has happened before.”

Amid the backlash Tere Bin is receiving, an old interview of actor Mawra Hocane with FUCHSIA Magazine has resurfaced online. In it, the star spoke about tackling marital rape in her popular drama serial Qissa Meherbano Ka. “I was reading an episode [of Qissa Meherbano Ka] and I read a scene where Murad forces himself on Meherbano. And that was it — the scene took place, it was brushed past and Meherbano got up in the morning and made breakfast. I called [producer] Momina Duraid. I said that this is marital rape. We can’t just let it pass,” she said.

“Fortunately for me, Iqbal Hussain (the director) also understood the gravity of the matter and Momina also said that we’ll call off the shoot and come for a meeting tomorrow. We were shooting, and the 10th or ninth episode onwards, the entire script was rewritten, based on a scene I read, objected to and called the producer who was all in.”

The actor said that they had a five to six-hour meeting the next day where they discussed the issue. “And I am also so proud of her [Duraid] that it didn’t even take her a second to make the decision to stand up against marital rape, and of course, we’ll get it rewritten. I know the kind of money that is involved in stopping a shoot and reshooting.”

Whether or not Tere Bin has a martial rape scene isn’t the issue here — the use or even implication of such a sensitive topic is wrong. When such a large section of society is influenced and affected by the content they consume via television or social media sites, it’s extremely important for creators and actors of these dramas to engage in responsible storytelling. Even if they are showing the disturbing reality of society, the portrayals should be approached with utmost care, sensitivity, and respect for survivors of sexual assault. The hero, someone who will most likely ride off into the sunset with the heroine at the end of the show, shouldn’t be turned into a redeemable rapist.