KARACHI: American stand-up comedian Jeremy McLellan drew praise and deep anger on Wednesday for his comments on harassment’s debate involving Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
In a series of tweets last week, Ms Chinoy said that she was lodging a complaint against a doctor of Agha Khan University Hospital (AKUH) for sending a Facebook friend request to her sister shortly after her check-up at the facility’s emergency ward.
The filmmaker argued that doctor’s actions had constituted harassment. According to unconfirmed reports, the doctor was suspended by the hospital on charges of misconduct.
Chinoy’s tweets, however, stirred a heated debate on social media about the definition of harassment and whether Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy had misused her celebrity status.
The US comedian, who has a strong fan following in Pakistan, took a swipe at Ms Chinoy in a tweet. “I would send her a friend request but I hear that’s considered harassment now in Pakistan,” he tweeted without naming the filmmaker.
McLellan’s tweet received hundreds of likes and retweets from his followers.
“Since he is a “Gora” so she will not file it. She & her family feels harassed only by Pakistanis,” Muhammad Tariq Riaz, a Twitter user, said.
Twitter user Sumbul Usman criticized the comedian for cracking joke on a serious matter.
“First you tweet against sexual harassment and then this? Stop turning our experiences in to a joke. Use your influence to do better,” Sumbul Usman tweeted.
“The request was harassment Over here, I meant you cant tweet against Kevin Spacey and then joke about this incident right after,” she added.
“Do you realize how this trivializes the harassment millions of women endure and is making a mockery out of their ordeals?,” Reeba, another female Twitter user, wrote.
“I can only hope you’re unaware of the entire story in which case I advise you to pls read up on it before using it to score a few laughs.” – SAMAA