Lux Style Awards (LSAs) 2018 took place a week ago but controversies born out of the event are far from dying down.
Among these, Mahira being awarded Best Actress for Verna over Mehwish Hayat – who was nominated for her performance in the blockbuster hit Punjab Nahi Jaungi – is perhaps the one that’s received most attention. Although the Best Actress category was entirely judged by public voting, a certain segment of fans as well as celebrities have accused LSA management of bias, even after repeated assurances by LSA management who say their voting process is audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and that if anyone has any doubts they are even willing to share the numbers with them.
Somehow, caught in between this controversy is Humayun Saeed – producer of Punjab Nahi Jaungi, LSA 2018 winner in the Best Actor category (also for Punjab Nahi Jaungi), Mehwish Hayat’s co-star in the film and a longtime friend of Mahira Khan.
“I’ll tell you what, there’s no winner in the Best Actress category. Not even Mahira. Because I have the Best Actress trophy!” Humayun said laughingly during an exclusive chat with Something Haute. And that’s true. Due to some mix up, Humayun ended up bringing home the Best Actress statuette instead of the Best Actor trophy.
A picture of the Best Actress trophy currently in Humayun’s possession PHOTO: Humayun Saeed
“But no, on a serious note, just because I think Mehwish deserved the award doesn’t mean I think Mahira got the award because of any bias. She’s won it fair and square based on the number of votes she got,” he added. “When someone asks me or Nadeem (Baig) – and a lot of journalists have – if we think Mehwish deserved to win, our response is that of course she did. I mean what else are we supposed to say? But our responses somehow get misconstrued or perhaps misunderstood and there’s conjecture that we are against Mahira winning or have a problem with her, which definitely is not the case.”
Mahira and Humayun’s friendship goes way back. In fact Mahira starred opposite Humayun in her very first TV drama Neeyat, which was also produced by Humayun. When asked if he’s displeased with Mahira’s win, he said, “Not at all! Mahira started her career with me how can I ever think ill of her. Her success makes me very happy. And I don’t think anyone has criticised Mahira any way. They have only spoken against the voting system, which of course isn’t Mahira’s responsibility.”