Pakistan is on a banning spree these days. Ads, TikTok, web series and television dramas all have been facing censorship in one way or another. Actor Sanam Saeed thinks it will take time for people to understand that the stories and journeys being shown in our content are the realities of society.
The Cake star joined designer and host Hassan Sheheryar Yasin aka HSY for an Instagram live session and the two discussed restricted freedom of expression in Pakistan and its consequences.
Saeed explained how people believe the web series Churails is controversial because such topics or dialogues are not commonly depicted.
“Asim’s Churails pushed buttons and touched upon topics that several [people] appreciated, but many could not accept,” she said. “There’s a bunch of other directors whose web series are about to come, they won’t be banned.”
The series is back online after being removed for Pakistani viewers from Zee5 Global, an online platform that has been streaming the series since August 11. It was taken down after a clip from the series went viral on Twitter and was criticised for being ‘vulgar.’
The viral clip features one of the characters, Sherry, played by Hina Khawaja Bayat, talking about a sexual act and how she had to give sexual favours to get a job.
“It’ll take time for people to understand that the dialogues that have been spoken and the relationships that are being shown are representative of real life – these things happen,” she said.
She then recalled artists such as Manto and Ismat Chughtai whose work has also been banned. “The same is happening in 2020. Because it’s Pakistan after all and you have to take the risk.”
She emphasised that the censor board needs to decide what should be censored. “The public is getting confused because you are fuelling their already confused sentiments and perspectives.”
Saeed added that there should be proper guidelines and ratings for content that is being produced. It will let people know if this is something they want to watch with their families.