A video in which actors Saboor Aly and Saheefa Jabbar Khattak appear to be making fun of a window cleaner's job has gone viral, with fans criticising the actors for their mockery of manual labour.
In the video that was uploaded on Saboor's insta stories, Saheefa and Saboor are heard laughingly saying of a man wiping a window pane clean: "Kya kya khwab leke iss ki maa ne is ko ghar se bejha tha", which loosely translates to "His mother must have had big dreams when she sent him to work."
Their co-star Affan Waheed also appears in the video but does not participate in the mockery and instead emphasises that the man is working hard.
Both actors have been criticised for their derogatory words about manual labourers.
Since the backlash, Saboor has clarified on Instagram that the man was actually their TV drama's assistant director with whom they frequently joke around.
She also attempted to justify the 'joke': "No where have we called him a window cleaner or made fun of any specific profession. What was an inside joke with an individual, has been portrayed as an insult of the profession which was never the intention nor a fact even in the content that's still on my social media. Frankly these are just not the values I have been brought up with."
Addressing her critics, she said, "All I will humbly say in the end is - next time you point your finger on someone's actions or words - especially when you are looking at them in isolation and not the whole picture - think and be responsible. Don't just do it for the followers, likes, and engagement."
For her part, Saheefa seemed to think responding to the controversy is a lost cause. "I'll fail, I'll miserably fail, but I won't be able to clear the air and explain my side out," she wrote on her Instagram.
Some have defended Saboor, like graphic artist Sanki King who left the following comment on her Instagram: "It’s pretty evident from the video that you guys were cracking harmless jokes. I think our society is riding the bandwagon of this new trend of finding excuses to bash successful people."
In the evening, both actors issued a video apology, in which they acknowledged that their joke was inappropriate for any circumstance:
The video also featured Ehsaan Sheikh, the assistant director to whom the joke was directed towards.