Actor Yasir Hussain says Ertugrul Ghazi is a great show and he never had any reservations about its content. He does, however, have a problem with the fact that the Turkish show is being aired on national television.
Speaking to SAMAA Digital, Hussain said that the show’s content is genuinely good because it shows Islamic history which is also our own history. “But showing it on the state channel is not a great idea”.
Under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives, Dirilis: Ertugrul was dubbed into Urdu and presented as Ertugrul Ghazi on PTV at the beginning of Ramazan. More Turkish content is expected to air on PTV this year.
According to Hussain, production of a state channel should be good enough for distribution in the whole world. He said that Pakistan is the only country in Asia making great shows on meagre budgets. The actor added that some of these shows had received acclaim in India.
“If Turkey’s state TV can make such a great show, then our state TV should also make one using local artists,” he said. “If 500 episodes of a foreign show are aired, this means 500 episodes worth of work lost for local artists and technicians.”
Referring to the upcoming movie The Legend of Maula Jutt, Yasir said that when the movie’s trailers were aired in India, “people were dumbstruck at how we managed to produce something resembling Hollywood on a short budget. This means we have what it takes to make great content”.
“PTV should team up with directors like Bilal Lashari (The Legend of Maula Jutt) to make a historical drama with artists who pay their taxes and have the ability to act,” he said. “We can even make our own version of Ertugrul sans dubbing.”
Earlier, the actor had posted an Insta story where he said that landa bazaars and Turkish dramas will be the end of local industry. Explaining his remark, Yasir said that he used the flea market analogy to express how the Turkish dramas were a second-hand commodity because they had already been aired somewhere else.
He further said that when the same drama will run between 8pm and 9pm for the next two years, what will local artists and technicians do?
The actor said that raising standards was not the job of the actor or the writer. Instead, major institutions like PTV should provide financial support for such innovation. “If we pay taxes for PTV, then PTV should invest in local artists,” he said.