Pakistani actress Nadia Jamil criticizes an ongoing drama serial Hadsa lead by Hadiqa Kiani, depicting the story of a sexual assault survivor.
The television show “Hadsa” has come under fire as internet users criticize its handling of a sensitive topic, raising concerns about consent and the portrayal of rape. The show has drawn intense backlash for allegedly drawing inspiration from the motorway rape case without obtaining consent from the survivor.
Criticisms have also been directed at the explicit depiction of rape scenes, potentially re-traumatizing survivors and triggering those who have undergone similar experiences.
Notably, a particular dialogue within the show has sparked outrage for perpetuating the harmful notion that shame rests upon survivors rather than perpetrators. Renowned actors Nadia Afgan and Nadia Jamil have joined the chorus of disapproval, condemning the show’s creators for their handling of the subject matter and their failure to acquire proper consent.
Nadia Afgan took to her Instagram Stories, lamenting the absence of consent in some channels’ content creation processes. She questioned how none of the show’s contributors, including writers, makers, and actors, considered seeking permission from the survivor whose story was being depicted.
Nadia Jamil, herself a survivor, shared a troubling dialogue from the show on her Instagram. The dialogue insinuated that “izzat” (honour) is lost when one is subjected to rape, placing the burden of shame on the survivor. In a passionate post, Jamil expressed offense and called for an end to the use of such demeaning language that perpetuates the stigmatization of survivors.
The debate prompted a response from the show’s lead, Hadiqa Kiani. She clarified that “Hadsa” was not based on the 2020 motorway incident but aimed to shed light on the disturbingly common occurrence of rape and violence in society. Kiani emphasized the importance of airing episodes with trigger warnings to consider the sensitivities of survivors.
The controversy underscores the necessity of responsible storytelling, particularly when dealing with delicate subjects like sexual violence. As criticism mounts, discussions continue about the appropriate portrayal of such topics in media while safeguarding survivors’ well-being and dignity.