Can we stop talking about Nadir Ali and his infernal podcast?

Can we stop talking about Nadir Ali and his infernal podcast?

By continuing to talk about his sexist, colourist and problematic content, we're just giving him what he wants — views.
24 Aug, 2023

Every couple of weeks we are subjected to the nightmare that is Nadir Ali’s podcast. This week, he proved himself to be sexist in his commentary about Indian actors Priyanka Chopra and Ameesha Patel, but that’s not surprising. What is surprising to us is that actors still go on his show.

It’s a show that has given us nothing but controversy. Usually, when celebrities are interviewed, controversy arises when they stick their feet in their own mouths. Here, it arises from the crass questions and pointed remarks of the host.

His prying and intrusive questions, aimed at hitting every sore spot society has, have cemented him as a dudebro of epic proportions. And we obviously don’t mean that in a flattering way.

This week’s guest was Moammar Rana. In the episode, they spoke about Rana once ‘meeting’ Priyanka Chopra but not recognising her at all — Ali asked in an aside if Rana thought she was a maid. His crush was instantly over, the actor said, making throwing motions to indicate the force of his emotion. Ali interjected that she was like kala namak or black salt in an attempt to be funny — though it truly seems to us as if he wouldn’t know actual humour if it smacked him in the face. Irrelevant interjections do not humour make.

Rana then spoke about someone he considered “genuinely beautiful” — Ameesha Patel. In another attempt to be ‘funny’, Ali asked how she was beautiful. “Her face or…” he asked, allowing the implication to linger. When Rana confirmed he was indeed talking about her face, Ali burst into song — Chehra kya dekhtay ho, dil may utar kay, pointing at his chest with a lascivious smile on his face.

His sexism and downright disgusting commentary wasn’t limited to this — he also asked Rana which women he thought were bhayanak or scary, to which he replied there were none in Pakistan but definitely some in India — but this seems to be what the internet has picked up on.

Of the tops of our heads, we can recall many other instances where the podcast host has been gross on his show. He asked Christian actor Sunita Marshall about converting to Islam, tried to corner model Nadia Hussain into calling fellow actors ‘ugly’ and disparaged women actors by asking Behroze Sabzwari about a ‘strategy’ to gain more views by wearing fewer clothes.

The host and his odious podcast first popped up on our radar of problematic things when he interviewed the late Aamir Liaquat and his then new wife Dania. That interview was rife with snickered innuendos about second marriages and Ali’s assertion that a “woman’s true enemy is another woman”. He is, of course, the supreme authority on women as we’re sure we all agree. Before that, he was a YouTuber who pulled pranks on unsuspecting people — the epitome of good humour.

There are probably many more instances like this, but to be very honest, we don’t want to watch any more mind numbing content to pick out examples of sexism and crassness. It’s enough that social media shares clips of the podcast — why must we actually watch more of the production to confirm what we already know?

Nadir Ali’s podcast is quite literally a blight on society. It both brings out the worst in the guests — who aren’t truly all that innocent for willingly and knowingly going on his show despite everything — and perpetuates the worst of Pakistani society. Sexism, insulting comments, colourism — he’s got it all, wrapped up in a dimly lit package with a bow on top.

The podcast truly is the worst tool in our media arsenal, even worse, in our opinion, than anonymous Instagram accounts that allow users to nitpick details of people’s lives and say things they would never have the guts to say in real life. Podcasts allows anyone with a microphone and an internet connection the ability to upload their unfiltered thoughts ad nauseam online and reach individuals of similar bigoted mindsets.

We’re all for freedom of thought and expression, but in some cases, we see why content curbs are important and these curbs need to come from the audience. Not everyone’s thoughts need to be shared with the world. We don’t need to hear anymore sexist remarks about women’s appearances and cheap comments than we already do in the real world and we definitely don’t need young people to think talking about people like this is okay. The term polluting the minds of the youth is thrown about a lot but it truly applies here — to a podcast so insidiously benign in appearance that it seems to be a jovial man interviewing people with little to no agenda.

We understand, of course, that these questions are asked with a goal in mind. The angry reactions, the outrage, the articles and social media posts all get Nadir Ali what he wants — views. People are talking about him and his podcast and isn’t that what anyone with an income based solely on the number of people who watch your content wants? The more we talk about him and his podcast, the more we watch his podcast in the hopes of picking out another horrible comment, the more he profits.

We could write volumes about his vile podcast and the ridiculous and downright disgusting questions asked, but at the end of the day, he won’t care. That’s why we ask that you just stop talking about him. Stop watching, stop reacting, stop talking about him. Just ignore him and hopefully, he’ll eventually fade into the obscurity from which he emerged.

He describes himself as “a Pakistani YouTuber known for his funny and prank videos”. We wish this was one big prank but perhaps the actual prank is that this man is being made into an internet sensation and people are willing to digest the regurgitated garbage he continues to peddle.