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Yasir Hussain misses the point with his transgender ‘joke’ explanation

A 'joke' he made on social media hasn't been well-received

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 29, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Apr 29, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

After receiving a lot of criticism for a ‘joke’ he made about transgender people on social media, actor Yasir Hussain has responded to the backlash. But his response fell short as it didn’t actually apologise for his ‘joke’. 

Hussain said he will be portraying the role of a woman in his upcoming telefilm Help Me Durdana. “I just wanted to clear the misconceptions that some people have about my recent role, the images that you have seen over social media of me wearing a sari are for a project in which I am playing the role of my mother.”

He said he is not playing the role of a transgender and by no means has he ever wanted to disrespect a gender that he had immense regard for.

Related: Yasir Hussain’s insensitive transgender ‘joke’ draws social media ire

“Once the show is out you will be able to understand the character better and will know that my role has nothing to do with humiliating or mocking anyone.”

Regarding a problematic reply he wrote to a comment on his page, he said, “We as public figures receive a lot of retaliation/negative comments and just because I chose to reply to a comment with a joke does not in any way mean that I have no respect for a certain gender. Other negative comments that we receive are never made a controversy out of so this also shouldn’t be. It is just a character intended for humour and nothing else. Hope this clears the doubts that some people have.”

The backlash caused the actor to turn off the comments under his Instagram post.

Related: I regret saying it: Yasir Hussain apologises for child abuse joke

But he didn’t address the fact that people were not angry at him for his portrayal of a transgender character and were instead angry at him for his reply. Someone commented on the photo series and asked why the producers hadn’t cast an actual transgender person in the role. Hussain replied and asked whether the the person who commented wanted the job instead.

This isn’t the first time Hussain has been under fire for an insensitive comment. He was blasted for a joke he made about child molestation at the Hum Awards in Lahore in 2017.

After Ahsan Khan accepted the award for Best Actor In A Negative Role for his performance as the villain in child sexual abuse drama Udaari, Hussain said: “Itna khoobsurat child molester, kaash mein bhi bacha hota [what a beautiful child molester, if only I was also a child]”.

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