It is terrible when celebrities misuse their power and use their clout to subjugate others who they perceive as weak and defenceless. Another name added in this list of shame is of Pakistani actor Ali Zafar who has a decent fan following in India too. A couple of days ago, a singer Meesha Shafi accused the actor of sexual harassment post which a lot of women from the entertainment industry have come forward to allege the singer/actor of harassment, mostly of physical nature.
One of the first women who came out in support of Shafi is journalist Maham Javaid who claimed that Zafar tried to kiss her cousin many moons ago and fortunately they were able to push him away. She tweeted, “So @itsmeeshashafi’s brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about @AliZafarsays from many many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him. Luckily my cousin’s friends were there to push Ali Zafar off.” She added, “”We didn’t even think of telling anyone, apart from friends, or reporting him because ‘he’s a celebrity, no one would possibly care or listen’. And over the years, we forgot the story ourselves, until today. Thanks @itsmeeshashafi for reminding us that our stories matters.”
Leena Ghani, a makeup artist who knows Zafar since many years now wrote on Facebook, “”In the many years I have known Ali, he has on several occasions crossed boundaries of what is appropriate behaviour between friends. I have chosen to ignore it out of respect for his family, but today I feel I must speak my truth in light of recent revelations. His behaviour displays a clear lack of respct for women. Inappropriate contact, groping, sexual comments should not fall in the grey area between humour and indecency… In such cases most women like myself run from such a situation and hope to God you never cross paths again. And when by some misfortune you do, you hide from him. Hoping his sleazy eyes and hands don’t find you again. His hands don’t make their way up a nd down your waist or hold you too tight while you desperately try to wiggle and run…”
Ali Zafar had posted recently that he DENIES all claims made by Meesha Shafi and wrote, “I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms Shafi. I intend to take this through the courts of law and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any allegations here, contesting personal vendettas on social media and in turn disrespecting the movement, my family, the industry and my fans. Ultimately, I am a strong believer that the truth always prevails.”
So @itsmeeshashafi‘s brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about @AliZafarsays from many many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him. Luckily my cousin’s friends were there to push Ali Zafar off https://t.co/kBQbBiwyFP
— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
We didn’t even think of telling anyone, apart from friends, or reporting him because “he’s a celebrity, no one would possibly care or listen”. And tbh over the years we forgot the story ourselves, until today. Thanks @itsmeeshashafi for reminding us that our stories matters
— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
— Humna Raza (@HumnaRaza) April 19, 2018
Thank you @itsmeeshashafi for your courage and your bravery. It’s never easy. But that should never silence us. I am in total solidarity with you. You are not alone in this because #Metoo #TimesUp #WeBelieveYou pic.twitter.com/hkQ61bqnFH
— Leena (@Leena_Ghani) April 19, 2018
The sick mentality of those commenting on an issue as serious as sexual harassment as casually as they are just shows where the root of this problem exists – in our minds. We will continue to breed harassers for as long as we continue to desensitise this issue.
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) April 20, 2018
Also Read: Ali Zafar accused of sexual harassment; Bollywood gives him a clean chit
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