Ali Zafar’s new movie ‘Teefa in Trouble’ released on July 20 but not everyone is happy about it.
The movie’s premieres and promotional events in Lahore and Karachi have been attended by celebrities, socialites and protesters.
Protests, protests and more protests
Outside the premiere at Karachi’s Nueplex cinema, protesters gathered and shouted ‘boycott Ali Zafar’. Around 30 protesters, mostly young men and women, chanted slogans against him. Nueplex security tried to take away the protesters’ mobile phones and make them leave.
— Mahnoor Ikhlaq (@mahnoorikhlaq1) July 20, 2018
— Maria (@maria_ghani) July 19, 2018
— Manal Faheem Khan (@ManalFaheemKhan) July 19, 2018
They also turned up at a promotional event Zafar attended at a KFC in Karachi. People tried to get them to leave there too.
Ali Zafar was supposed to do a promotional event for his film at KFC. When he reached, this happened. pic.twitter.com/142oh3acDO
— #VOTEFORJIBRANNASIR 📢 📢 📢 (@merabichrayaar) July 19, 2018
At the movie’s premiere at Lahore’s Cinestar, the son of the owners of Bareeze, Waleed Zaman, shouted his support for Zafar saying “I support the sexual harassment of women”. He said this while passing by a group of protesters outside the cinema.
There’s a protest outside Cinestar Lahore against sexual harasser Ali Zafar’s movie Teefa. Waleed Zaman, son of Bareeze’s owner, creative director of Kayseria brand, walks in saying “we support sexual harassment of women” Privileged men who think they can get away with anything. pic.twitter.com/2Ld7erccZP
— Maryam (@maryamful) July 20, 2018
He later tried to backtrack in a Facebook post, saying that he reacted badly to his wife being harassed but people weren’t having it.
So awful! What does one even say when our “educated” supposedly enlightened people do this. Im surprised at his wife as well. She just casually walks off while he’s saying all this rubbish. She should have stopped him.
— Maheen Taseer (@MaheenTaseer) July 21, 2018
There’s a protest happening outside Cinestar, Lahore, against Teefa rn. and OMFG Walid Zaman, the son of the owner of Bareeze, who is also the Creative Director of Kayseria (Bareeze’s sub brand) was there and he said he SUPPORTS sexual harassment of women
— Aruje Jahan♉️ (@JahanAruje) July 20, 2018
Glimpse of Protest today outside Cinestar against sexual harraser Ali Zafar’s movie Teefa In Trouble. Comrade Mohiba from @PSCollective_ and @WomensCol_ speaking to media about how women are always blamed for being harrased. pic.twitter.com/NPbLFKR5TB
— عفراہ (@hiafoo) July 20, 2018
The protests continue on social media, where some people say they are boycotting the movie because of Zafar’s alleged harassment of another singer.
Where it started
Well it all started with a tweet.
Sharing this because I believe that by speaking out about my own experience of sexual harassment, I will break the culture of silence that permeates through our society. It is not easy to speak out.. but it is harder to stay silent. My conscience will not allow it anymore #MeToo pic.twitter.com/iwex7e1NLZ
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) April 19, 2018
After Meesha Shafi wrote about how Zafar harassed her, other women came out with their stories of harassment.
Her tweet was criticised by many of Zafar’s friends and supporters and she was labeled a liar. He denied harassing her, saying he was “the father of a young girl and young boy, the husband to a wife and son to a mother”.
Zafar later filed a Rs1 billion defamation suit against Shafi under the Defamation Ordinance 2002.