This comedian from Karachi has angered her own. Having a sense of humor in a time of crisis is a tactic that has helped many to survive. Comedian Natalia Gul Jilani recently came under fire for a comedy set that has angered her community quite a bit.
Natalia performed a stand-up comedy set that included her commentary on being Sindhi and the Sindhi community, in general
Her set has angered Sindhis for being offensive. Natalia is a dentist by profession and a stand-up comedian by choice and her video was released on a Facebook page called ‘The Circus’ on Friday. Natalia’s set was titled ‘Sindhi Encyclopedia’ and after severe backlash the video was taken down.
However, what goes on social media, never stays there; it goes viral. The video is still circulating on the internet and if you have not watched it, here is a link to know what all happened:
The page that had put up the video soon released an official statement after taking down the video
The video irked many among the Sindhi community, at home as well as abroad and soon caused an outrage online
Jilani, who is also part of the ‘Khawatoons’, an all women’s comedy troupe, mentioned being a Sindhi in her stand-up act to explain that the humor was at her own expense, essentially. But even that did not save her from the trouble.
Sanam Marvi, a renowned Sindhi folk artist, expressed how resorting to risque’ content just to please the audiences was not enough, in a video she made in response to the same incident.
People on the internet lost their minds and the shame game soon started
Following the severe backlash, Jilani released a video apologizing for her stand-up
“I am doing this because I am receiving life threats and my family is really concerned about me,” she said while talking about the name calling she has received ever since the video went viral.
“I have performed on international platforms as well. Never have I faced such backlash,” Natalia told MangoBaaz in response to the backlash she received.
She added, “comedy is all about stereotyping. If people cannot take a joke, then they are missing out on the essence of it.”
سنڌين تي ٺٺولي ڪندڙ ڪاميڊين ناتاليا گل جيلاني جي معافي واري وڊيو.Unconditional apologies for my recent standup bit, didn't mean to hurt my Sindhi Nation's sentiments. Natalia Gul Jilani B
Gepostet von Sindoshka am Montag, 20. August 2018
Fellow comedians and artistes are standing up in her support
Comedian and rapper, Ali Gul Pir, tweeted in response to Jilani’s apology saying there was no need for it.
— Ali Gul Pir (@Aligulpir) August 21, 2018
Nothing even remotely objectionable about your stand up on Sindhis. As a Sindhi I found it totally in good humour and just affectionate ribbing. The nation that can't laugh at itself needs to learn how. Don't indulge them/us by apologizing. https://t.co/6aw1aEOnyD
— Fifi Haroon (@fifiharoon) August 21, 2018
Overwhelmed with the kind of support I'm receiving, thank you so much Sir. https://t.co/UArtUQikIA
— Natalia Gul Jilani B (@NataliaBaghdadi) August 21, 2018
A similar incident happened back when veteran comedian and reputable writer, Anwar Maqsood, put up a video on his YouTube Channel called ‘Anwarnama’ by the name ‘Aik Sindhi Ka Interview’.
Maqsood had to take the video down and apologize after people put a foot forward on how racism and hate speech against a certain ethnicity is not funny anymore.
The changing dynamics of public interaction and the ever evolving definition of political correctness is making people rethink appropriate behavior. From interaction between the genders to comedy, everything is requiring rethinking and evaluation. While on the one hand, sensitivity, empathy and inclusiveness is a welcome addition it does raise questions about the level of self-censorship and removal of critical discourse from public interaction it leads to.