Designer Maria B has criticized the promotion of the Pakistani movie Joyland in the ongoing TV serial Kuch Ankahi starring Sajal Aly and Bilal Abbas.
A picture of the poster of Joyland appeared in one of the scenes of the drama serial. Maria B shared the image of the scene on her social media account and expressed her anger in her Instagram story regarding the promotion of the film based on the love between transgender.
Butt wrote, “We also have dramas promoting Joyland/transgenders subliminally. We are not stupid. We get it!” Asking Pakistanis to “wake up,” she urged, “see the new agenda.” The designer claimed, “Rather than trying to save Pakistan, we are selling our religious identity.”
In another story, Butt demanded, “Fight for the rights of our intersex community. They are being abused for 75 years. And now transgender communities are taking over the rights of true intersex people. We will continue to fight against this injustice.”
Maria B has been opposing the release of Saim Sadiq’s Joyland continuously. Joyland, a film by Saim Sadiq, has been nominated for the 95th Academy Awards. The movie is Pakistan’s first entry in the international feature film category of the Oscars. Joyland earned the unofficial Queer Palm award and the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Read more: Joyland: First Pakistani film to bag Oscar nomination
Joyland was announced in September as Pakistan’s official submission for the 95th edition of the world’s most prestigious film awards. Alina Khan, Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed are featured in the film. Malala Yousafzai is the executive producer of the film.
Although the government of Pakistan later overturned the initially imposed ban on the movie, the filmmakers are still not permitted to exhibit the film in many areas of the country, notably the Punjab province. The Punjab government maintains that it cannot let the film be released “in the wake of persistent complaints received from different quarters” because it contains “highly objectionable” content.
Human rights activists have stressed that only those who have not seen the movie are vouching for its ban because the movie only promotes human rights and tries to break the patriarchal stereotypes of our society. This is in contrast to conservatives, who continue to condemn the film, claiming that it goes against the family and moral values of Pakistan.