Twitter users went on an uproar yesterday after Pakistani Singer Meesha Shafi publicly accused pop-star, actor and composer Ali Zafar of sexual harassment – with Ali Zafar denying all allegations just a few hours later. The 36 year-old singer and mother of two children, Meesha Shafi shocked her fans by sharing her experience of harassment with Ali Zafar on Twitter. She added that she was harassed by him on multiple occasions and she couldn’t keep quiet about it anymore.
Coke Studio singer and a loyal #metoo promoter, Meesha, made her first ever allegation on his celebrity colleague and shook the Pakistani entertainment industry to its very core with the news. The topic spread like a wildfire on social media and people then on started choosing their sides.
Meesha Shafi, to prove her allegations took her message to Twitter to reveal that she has indeed been harassed, “on more than one occasion, subjected to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of Ali Zafar.”
Sharing this because I believe that by speaking out about my own experience of sexual harassment, I will break the culture of silence that permeates through our society. It is not easy to speak out.. but it is harder to stay silent. My conscience will not allow it anymore #MeToo pic.twitter.com/iwex7e1NLZ
— Meesha Shafi (@itsmeeshashafi) April 19, 2018
After several hours of debate and confusion piling up following Meesha Shafi’s tweet, Ali Zafar decided to respond with a counteract post for the allegations made. This is what he has Tweeted:
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) April 19, 2018
Although Ali said he will be taking this matter to court, many fans are breaking out with support for Meesha and while a few people are still questioning her honesty, here’s what most people are saying:
It seems unlikely how anyone would put themselves in the spotlight just for fame.
A woman breaks her silence about abuse, withstands character assassination & further abuse on social media, her story turns into memes & tone-deaf jokes that trivialize the issue, she fears ostracization – but suuuuure, she did it for the cheap publicity. https://t.co/eDeOpXYUox
— Osman Khalid Butt (@aClockworkObi) April 19, 2018
Proud of this gutsy woman. That's my kind of rockstar! More power to women who stand up to predators. https://t.co/KT07tU6N8f
— Reham Khan (@RehamKhan1) April 19, 2018
It seems likely that this matter is not going to extinguish itself soon.
The face of the entertainment industry is so cosmetic. #AliZafar is not only popular/successful, he's been regular star for ages. We've all known him since Kollege Jeans. #MeeshaShafi has taken on a giant. Let's see if this sparks a big movement for us. #MeToo
— Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) April 19, 2018
I mean who wants to be in the limelight and be abused by countless men and women who have internalized patriarchy? Meesha Shafi doesn't owe any explanation to anybody but shes doing the rest of us a favour by warning us of Ali Zafar's behavior #MeeshaShafi #MeToo #AliZafar
— Manal Faheem Khan (@ManalFaheemKhan) April 19, 2018
Meesha is indeed lucky to have fans siding with her through this dark times. We hope the best for her.
Men get away with sexual harassment in a culture of silence, where women are blamed for being treated inappropriately & for speaking up about said harassment. We have to change our culture, believe & support women brave enough to speak up. Enough. #MeToo #meeshashafi #AliZafar
— Bina Shah (@BinaShah) April 19, 2018
Even though Ali Zafar has been named the most sexist asian man, this news definitely came as a shock for many fans across the nation. However with his side of the story it seems like he doesn’t have much to hide, or does he?
Meanwhile, Meesha Shafi is a prominent figure in Pakistan’s entertainment industry as a singer and as a public figure for the #metoo movement. She has always been vocal about human rights in social media. Moreover, she was also featured in UN Women Pakistan’s campaign that aimed at raising awareness about violence against women.
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