Why are we banning Saif Ali Khan’s movies but not his commercials?
Over the past few years, Pakistan has witnessed a boom in its film and drama industry. This has come as a blessing for most young and struggling actors. Previously, our industry had a handful of skilled actors, the same faces, and barely any room for new talent, which proved to be quite mundane for the audience.
Due to the mass awareness and globalisation, we’ve witnessed the mushrooming of numerous sitcoms starring new and fresh faces, such as Mawra Hocane, Osman Khalid Butt, Hareem Farooq, Adeel Hussain and the list goes on. It’s rather refreshing to see that directors and producers have taken it upon themselves to cast novel talent.
At the same time, it’s a bit surprising that we still tend to overlook our local talent when it comes to certain brands. Adverts such as the Head and Shoulders one starring the infamous Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor and the Pantene ad starring Katrina Kaif run repeatedly on air.
But the question is – why is it necessary to hire talent from international industries when our own industry has so much potential?
Are our actors not talented enough or is it that their face won’t be commercial enough to rein in the success these brands are looking for?
Not only is it unfair for our aspiring actors, but it’s also demoralising and demeaning for our industry. In essence, it sends out a message to our local actors that they are not good enough to be casted in local adverts, even though our actors have definitely stepped their game up and deserve every chance and right to be cast in such adverts. I could think of alternative actors who could take Saif Ali Khan’s and Kareena Kapoor’s place in a heartbeat.
We’re quick to jump to accusations and abuses when it comes to banning certain movies, yet those same actors are the stars of certain adverts. In an attempt to stand up for our country, we chose to ban Saif Ali Khan’s movies in Pakistan, yet air his commercials on every channel, every hour – why the hypocrisy?
We tend to place Bollywood actors on pedestals, and if one wants to do that, they have all the right to do it, but let’s not do it at the expense of our own actors and our industry. Maybe it’s time to change our star struck mind-set and give our talent the rights and opportunities they deserve.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.