After a series of controversies and dropouts, Lux Style Awards organiser Unilever released a statement on Saturday addressing the controversy surrounding the Ali Zafar and Meesha Shafi case and a number of nominations being rejected.
“The nominations for the Lux Style Awards are decided by an independent jury of industry peers and critics,” said Unilever in a press release.
“Neither the Lux Style Awards nor Unilever Pakistan has ever intruded in the jury’s independence and we continue to respect their decisions.”
The company also remarked that respect, dignity and fair treatment are core principles at Unilever Pakistan. “We expect all our employees, partners, customers and associates to adhere to the principles. Any allegation of misconduct on anyone associated with Unilever Pakistan or our brands is taken very seriously.”
Unilever also stated that the company was aware of the case involving Zafar and Shafi, adding that the matter was presently sub-judice and it would not be appropriate to comment on it.
On April 25, the Lux Style Awards film jury finally issued a statement after a number of nominees dropped out of the awards to protest the nomination of an alleged sexual harasser.
The statement stated that the nominations are all based on merit and do not consider “extraneous issues” relating to the personal characters or actions of people associated with that work”.
At least seven nominees have asked for their nominations to be withdrawn. Models Eman Suleman and Rubaab Ali, clothing brand Generation, makeup artists Saima Bagfrede and Fatima Nasir, singer Shafi and folk-rock band The Sketches have all declined their nominations in protest.
Director Jami took his protest a step further and threw out his old awards.