The conversation around Momina Duraid refusing to work with Firdous Jamal has become quite messy.
Recently, Firdous Jamal, in a TV show, said how he believes that Mahira Khan is a “mediocre model” and has reached an age where she should be playing the role of a mother.
The host, Faysal Qureshi, chimed in to add how none of Mahira’s movies have worked as of late and follows up by saying how he hopes that her upcoming film Superstar does well. The entire segment seemed absolutely uncalled for and led to the media fraternity supporting Mahira and praising her as an actress, stating how she’s the only actress in Pakistan who has represented us on multiple international forums.
Amidst the wave, Momina Duraid took to Instagram to issue a statement, saying explicitly how her production house would not work with Firdous Jamal again due to his attitude.
The CEO of MD Productions applauded Mahira Khan for being “a woman with immense integrity, self-control, and solid principles,” and further on in the note labeled Firdous Jamal’s comments as “disrespectful and regressive.” In a seemingly straightforward note, she said how she was “ashamed of him for being a part of our fraternity,” and expressed that her production house would not work with someone who is “sexist, regressive and discriminatory.”
Since then, Firdous Jamal’s son, Hamza Firdous, has spoken up as well, talking about how this ban is uncalled for.
Moreover, many people in and outside of the fraternity came forward to call Momina out for her statement.
Among them were actor Feroze Khan, who actively canceled Momina Duraid for misusing the proposition of “free speech” and misusing her position to rob someone of their livelihood.
View this post on Instagram
– my question … is this what freedom of speech gets you ?! Getting someone’s bread and butter cancelled ?? If it does … then I want every single bastard out there bashing any human being on the internet get cancelled the same way !! Coz you can’t ! 🙂 Enough is enough ! Get up before you’re next ! #ShowMeIfYouCanCancelMe 😂😂😂 jokes !!!
But that’s not it – many Pakistanis have been actively calling out Momina and her statement over Twitter, and are standing in full support of Firdous Jamal following the fiasco.
People do believe that statements made from each of the sides were extremely problematic in their own way.
I really like @TheMahiraKhan but many would agree she doesn't act well. #FirdousJamal should admit it was rude to comment further on her age etc. But what #Mominaduraid has done is down right outrageous. First ban people accused of domestic violence n sexual abuse maybe?
— Rabia Khan (@biakhann) August 2, 2019
Many are of the opinion that the entire situation could have been handled better than to have been blown out of proportion
I completely disagree with Firdous Jamal. Mahira Khan is a decent actress and she is totally fit to do the roles she is doing presently.
— Chayy Bee (@ChayyBee) August 2, 2019
A few brought forward the concerns of how Momina’s production house has been responsible for furthering stereotypes and misogyny on mainstream media.
The Duraid family is single-handedly responsible for furthering misogyny on television, for reinforcing stereotypes & destroying the legacy of Pakistan's glorious television years through false portrayals of embittered, miserable women. Get off your high horse #Mominaduraid
— Fuzzy (@fuzzyrants) August 2, 2019
— عبدالرحمن عرفان (@abdulrehmanarf1) August 2, 2019
Some also called upon others to boycott the production’s upcoming film, which also is a Mahira Khan starrer.
The man #supportfirdousjamal who devoted his life for Pakistan media. And now in return you are banning him #Mominaduraid. If you can ban him we can bycote #bycottSuperstar too.
Support your heroes not hoes. pic.twitter.com/GKAPW63DUH
— Hassaan Hasan (@hasan_hassaan) August 1, 2019
It was also highlighted how this isn’t the first time Momina or HUM Television has treated veteran actors unfairly.
Contextually, in 2014, veteran actress Badar Khalil was set to receive her “Lifetime Achievement Award” at HUM Awards. However, it all fell prey to controversy when the award administration made her sit at the back seat because Fawad Khan had to sit in the front row. The actress left her award on her seat and left the show, and the, later on, expressed her disappointment in the way she was treated.
— Waqas Arain (@arainwaqas27) August 1, 2019
People came forth with first-hand narratives about how other senior actors have been treated the same way.
Attended 2018 hum tv awards and disappointed to see veteran actors such as Qavi saab seated in 2nd/3rd rows while Duraids were front and center. As an audience member rather see senior artists respected. Evidently not the first time they have done this #Mominaduraid
— Kashjabi Princess (@Kashjabi) August 1, 2019
Due to all of the outrage, Twitter currently has #SupportFirdousJamal trending at number one as more and more people come out in support
However, there are many who support Momina Duraid on her stance
People are of the opinion that it is always a right step to call out and highlight problematic opinions and it’s high time people work towards creating a balanced and “tolerant” society.
#Mominaduraid cancelling out Firdous Jamal is the right step towards creating a more tolerant society. Now we will know how to act responsibly. This is a message to all the actors on how not to cross a very prominent line that Momina highlighted. It’s 2019. I support.
— Kinza Tahir (@Nymeria__i) August 1, 2019
And that it is absolutely okay to not work with someone who has been known to have problematic opinions according to their own personal narratives and experiences.
I just don't understand one thing.
When I heard sexist remarks coming from a man and some people I work with told that this man is a total mess then why would I like to work with him?
It's very obvious that I will cast decent personalities in my dramas 😏#MominaDuraid ✌
— Faria (@FariaSays) August 2, 2019
And that many did not expect Firdous Jamal to actually voice out his thoughts which were extremely inappropriate
The public can always criticize but passing such statements on a tv show about your fellows is disrespecting. I never expected this coming from a senior actor like #firdausjamal #iSupportMomina #Mominaduraid
— Fahad Malik (@Fahad4014) August 2, 2019
Hamza Firdous has taken to Twitter to thank Pakistanis for standing by, and for having “great integrity”
In a three-part tweet, he said how the matter was already closed on their side until Momina came forward with her statement which was “disrespectful and abusive.” He then continued to thank the nation for speaking up against the unfair treatment, and for the infinite amount of love and support for his father.
This is a message for anyone who unfairly treates someone's parents that the sons and daughters of this nation are still woke. And they will speak up.
Thank You for your infinite amount of love for Firdous Jamal. Keep the hashtag #SupportFirdousJamal alive!
— Hamza Firdous (@hamza_firdous) August 2, 2019
Pakistanis stand divided over the entire fiasco, and are of the opinion that even though Firdous Jamal’s comments stood as extremely problematic in their own way, the reaction from Momina and her decision to ban Jamal from their productions has been just as extreme and unfortunate.
What do you think about the entire scenario? Let us know in the comments!