Numerous nominees of the upcoming Lux Style Awards (LSAs) 2019 have boycotted the event on the grounds that a person accused of sexual harassment has been nominated. This has led to an intense debate with some laying blame on LSAs while others defending the controversial nomination on the pretext that it was done by an independent jury.
Amidst all this, superstar Humayun Saeed has released a statement which is perhaps the most balanced view we’ve seen on this matter. “Any dispute regarding nominations shouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s the country’s only platform to have managed to acknowledge so many incredibly talented Pakistanis for such a long time, thereby making it imperative that it continues to do so in the future as well,” his statement said.
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The backlash against LSAs began when model Eman Suleman posted a video on Instagram saying she was honored but “didn’t wish to be part of an accolade that shared with an alleged harasser”.
Following in her footsteps, model Rubab Ali, make up artists Fatima Nasir and Saima Bargfrede, music band The Sketches, clothing brand Generation and singer Meesha Shafi also withdrew their nominations. There’s been intense criticism on social media as well which is perhaps one of the reasons prompting the LSA Film Jury to address the matter.
“In 2019, the Lux Style Awards have been surrounded by dialog around nominees involved in a matter of alleged sexual harassment. The LSA Film jury joins the Lux Brand and Unilever Pakistan in condemning all acts of intolerance, discrimination or harassment,” the jury said in a statement adding, “However, it is also important to emphasize that the decisions of the Film Jury were based on an assessment of the merits of the cinematic work. We do not consider any other extraneous issues related to the personal characters or actions of people associated with that work.”
The Film Jury also said while it recognises the intensity of public sentiment, “it is also important to respect that the case is being decided by Pakistan’s judicial system” and that it has “complete faith in the law of the land and believe that justice will prevail.”