Ayeza Khan’s new drama Laapata, in which she is playing a social media celebrity, has disappointed many people for its problematic portrayal of harassment.
“Absolutely disgusting,” said singer Meesha Shafi, sharing a screenshot from Laapata’s first episode. “Pushing this sick narrative is highly irresponsible and problematic.”
Laapata premiered on Wednesday on HUM TV. Ayeza had been building hype around it by sharing recreations of iconic celebrity looks, including those of Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jehan, Madhuri and Mahira Khan. But shortly after its first episode aired, many people expressed their disappointment over the way Ayeza's character Geeti misuses her social media (TikTok) following for personal gains.
A scene shows Geeti going to a grocery store where she is asked to clear her previous bills. Instead, she takes out her phone and starts filming the shopkeeper, saying that he is harassing her. She is showing him the “power of social media”.
Actor Adnan Malik remarked that he is not surprised since most of the dramas being made in Pakistan are “tone-deaf”.
Some people believe such content reinstates stereotypes and creates a hostile atmosphere for women who choose to speak out against harassment, especially through social media.