Numerous nominees for the 18th Lux Style Awards (LSA) have withdrawn their nominations on the grounds that a person accused of sexual harassment has also been nominated. There’s also been strong backlash on social media which perhaps has prompted the management of Unilever Pakistan to address the matter.
“Respect, dignity and fair treatment are core principles at Unilever Pakistan. We expect all our employees, partners, customers and associates to adhere to the principles. Any allegation of misconduct on anyone associated with Unilever Pakistan or our brands, is taken very seriously,” a press statement by Unilever Pakistan said.
The statement also said that the nominations for the LSA are decided by an independent jury.
“The nominations for the Lux Style Awards are decided by an independent and transparent Jury of industry peers and critics. The members of the Jury for 2019 were chosen by an independent Board of Governors. Neither the Lux Style Awards nor Unilever Pakistan has ever intruded in the Jury’s independence, and we continue to respect their decisions.
“We are aware of the case involving Mr Ali Zafar and Ms Meesha Shafi. The matter is presently sub judice and it would not be appropriate to comment on it,” the statement said.
Earlier the LSA Film Jury also issued a statement to clarify their stance. “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.”