Yasir Hussain thinks Turkish dramas can destroy the industry

Actor says PTV should make decent dramas
May 18, 2020

Actor Yasir Hussain believes that broadcasting Turkish soaps on national television is not a good idea. The Jhooti star took to Instagram over the weekend and explained his point of view.

According to the actor, PTV should “make decent dramas” and use local talent and technicians. The actor claimed that imported clothes and Turkish dramas could potentially destroy the local industry.

In another story, he said: "When your brother, sister and father will be out of work and Turkish people will be given those jobs, maybe then you'll understand what I'm seeing. PTV is national TV. Keep that in mind."

Hussain further explained his stance and said that if a Turkish TV show will run on PTV for a year, it will be take the slot for a Pakistani drama serial. “Who will give jobs to the actors and technicians,” he asked. The actor clarified that he was not associated with PTV and was just voicing his opinions.

Within minutes, the actor was trolled and abused on social media for turning the Turkish epic into a political issue.

Talk show host, Anoushey Ashraf, took to social media on Sunday to defend Hussain.

“The trolls defending Ertugrul’s airing in Pakistan could have used better language for their own actors [Hussain],” said Ashraf. “Yasir shared an opinion, your Ertugrul wouldn’t have lectured, hatred and abused him. He would have seen it as exploring ‘two sides to a story’ please get off your high horse of piety.”

She remarked that words used against our own artists were shame worthy. “I am too for the serial running on state television but not on the expense of you guys disrespecting artists,” said she.

Laal Kabootar star Mansha Pasha tweeted in Yasir’s defence and said that this was the first time she agreed with him. “Those lambasting Yasir Hussain and calling the work in Pakistan “sub-par” seem to have forgotten what it takes to make content here.”

She said that the local entertainment industry did not get state patronage and thus, suffered. Pasha added that even if some people manage to gather their own funds and make content, they get banned, citing Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha.

“Don’t like the content here? Wonder why our content isn’t as great as others? Because they have state patronage and we don’t. And currently, we are giving state patronage to foreign projects. Go figure,” tweeted Pasha.

She backed up her argument, adding a link to an article that listed all the grants that the Turkish Government provides to its local industry, pointing out the importance of the state.

In a series of tweets, she also said that our actors even protested against serials like the Turkish soap which was dubbed in Urdu Ishq-e-Mamnoon which were aired seven years ago.

Turkey’s historical epic Ertugrul, is often referred to as the Islamic version of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, has become one of the most-watched TV shows in Pakistan this Ramazan.

The Turkish soap was dubbed in Urdu on the request of Prime Minister Imran Khan and was broadcast on PTV from the beginning of Ramazan. The series is about Islamic conquests before the establishment of the Ottoman Empire in the 13th century.

Ever since Ertugrul aired on national television, local actors and directors haven’t been too happy with it.

Actor and director Shaan Shahid tweeted at Senator Faisal Javed, who is the chairperson of the standing committee on broadcasting and heritage, and objected over Pakistan’s decision to air the Turkish show on PTV. He said that instead of making money from foreign dramas we should make our own historical epics.

Shahid’s stance was backed by Meray Paas Tum Ho’s Khalil ur Rehman in an interview with SAMAA Digital earlier. The writer himself has also taken note of the show’s success and is ready to pen an epic himself. He will start writing an epic similar to Ertugul in a week.

“Shaan’s remark was perceived complete wrong,” said Qamar. “He is not against Ertugrul in anyway; he just wanted Pakistanis to make their own periodic drama serial and cast our own local actors in it.”

A similar stance was also echoed by actor Reema Khan recently as she talked about against promoting Turkish TV shows such as Drillis: Ertugrul in Pakistan. After evoking heated sentiments from the fans of the show, Reema come forward to clarify her previous comments.

According to the actor, she was misquoted. “To all the fans of the show, I am not against the drama or history. It is not possible that I would ever go against a positive portrayal of Islamic history. Be it a show from Turkey, Malaysia, Saudia Arabia, or even from enemy states, I would always support it when our history is shown in a positive light,” she said during her Ramazan show. 

She said that where the state channel was concerned, a barter system should be in place. “Television shows produced in Pakistan in the past, they should also be dubbed in Turkish and aired there in exchange through an arrangement with the government. This way the revenue generated there could be used to nurture local industry so out of work technicians and directors can’t find work,” she said.

According to the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV), 133.38 million people have so far watched the drama series from April 25- May 14. Also, its episodes are trending on YouTube in Pakistan every day.

In just 20 days, since the series with Urdu dubbing started riding on the airwaves, PTV’s YouTube channel has registered exponential rise its viewership with 2.1 million subscribers, shattering all previous records.

With growing popularity, these numbers are expected to climb up further in the coming days.

Ertugrul has been shown in 60 countries around the world after being dubbed in different languages before making waves in Pakistan. The show has five seasons which are available on Netflix and other streaming platforms.

Yasir Hussain

shaan shahid

Anoushey Ashraf

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