Osman Khalid Butt slams PEMRA for labelling Pakistani dramas 'bold' - Pakistan Today

Osman Khalid Butt slams PEMRA for labelling Pakistani dramas ‘bold’

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), on Monday, released a notice calling out local TV serials “for not depicting the true picture of Pakistan.”

The notice stated that even though the “the Pakistani TV industry has always been recognised/appreciated for its quality and diversification,” it has “over time been observed that the quality of Pakistani dramas is deteriorating every day,”

The notice further stated, “Themes of Pakistani dramas are quite bold and not reflective of majority of Pakistani society. Unnecessary glamour, bold scenes are being shown in the drama, ignoring religious, social, cultural and ethical values of the country.”

“PEMRA is receiving numerous complaints from general public. Viewers are of the opinion that dramas are not depicting the true picture of Pakistani society. Indecent scenes, dialogues, extramarital relations, violence and exploitation are being glamourised, ignoring ethical bindings of Pakistani society as well PEMRA laws.”

Keeping in mind the above statement, PEMRA suggested TV channels to behave responsibly and “produce such content, which is strictly in line with the Pakistani culture, standards of decency and PEMRA’s laws.”

PEMRA’s notice received mixed reviews from the public and audiences. However, it irked actor Osman Khalid Butt, who took to Twitter to share his two cents on the matter.

“What, pray tell, is the ‘true picture of Pakistani society’? Not every drama serial is meant to be watched with the family. Pinky & Babloo can be put to bed before, no? How is television content expected to diversify when we get sweeping generalizations like this,” wrote the star.

He continued, “Friendly reminder that this is the same body that tried to ban Udaari because of similar ‘complaints’ from naik parveens et al. Good television w/ strong content holds a mirror up to society, and is meant to be uncomfortable. If you don’t like what you see, change the channel.”

Butt continued his argument replying to social media users under the thread.

A social media user, agreeing with Osman, joked, “Well Osman, i guess we now have Pemra’s permission to make dramas based on true Pakistani society. I suggest:
1. Law and Order: Ahmadi Victims Unit
2. Sexual Harasser’s Day Out
3. CSI: Kasur
4. Big Conspiracy Theory and finally the ever popular
5. Better Call Sau…di.”

To this Osman replied, “6. How to Get Away With Murder, a Rao Anwar story.
7. This Is Us, the TLP.
8. Televangelists in Pakistan: Aam Khayega?
9. Game of Thrones (no editing required)”

Another social media user commented, “Agreeing with half of your statement, but showing extra martial affairs, love affairs & violence is just so extra and over the top in Pakistani drama’s. Literally every story revolves around love, marriage, extra- martial affair then divorce & to be honest that’s literally enough!”

To which, Butt replied, “Only extramarital affairs exist, violence exists, love affairs happen everywhere around us. Yes, we can do away with the schlock, but there’s a sordid history with PEMRA and such complaints. Statements like these are discouraging to those wanting to diversify.”

When a social media user commented that watching Udaari with his parents was an embarassing experience for him, Butt remarked, “It made you uncomfortable? Good.”

One social media user wrote, “It does not mean that they can show whatever vulgarity they want . There should be some limits.”

“I’m curious: what vulgarity? Far as I know characters can hardly embrace onscreen,” replied Butt to her.

This is not the first time PEMRA has labelled entertainment content “immoral” or “indecent”. Popular TV serial, Udaari which highlighted child abuse also received a warning for “objectionable” content, while Nickelodeon was fined Rs 500,000 for “a cartoon character is indecently dressed” in a bikini on a beach.

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