Pakistani actor Yasir Hussain has backtracked on his comments about foreign actors being “garbage” after a post made by him went viral last week. In his Instagram story, the Baandi actor had shared the pictures of the Pakistani doppelgangers of Turkish stars Engin Altan Duzyatan and Cengiz Coskun-who played Ertugrul and Turgut Alp in the famous Turkish series-Dirilis Ertugrul.
Reacting to a pic of those cosplayers, the actor had commented “Inko koi nahi poochyga (no one will pay heed to them), Kyunke ghar ki murgi daal barabar or bahar ka kachra bhi maal barabar (Because home-cooked chicken is equivalent to lentils while foreign garbage is still worth cashing in),”.
It's hardly surprising that Yasir Hussain has been at the centre of controversy for his somewhat harsh views regarding Ertugrul and foreign actors working in Pakistan.
Anoushey Ashraf clapped back, sharing that one should respect artists from all over the globe@Anoushey_a pic.twitter.com/X8F4OBDN7v
— Concept Entertainment (@ConceptShowbiz) September 7, 2020
However after the TV presenter and VJ Anoushey Ashraf came to the Turkish actors defense saying “Let’s just gently remind Yasir that no one is Kachra (garbage) for one. And even if their work isn’t at par to his liking, actors from around the world must be respected,” she added.
Ashraf said that all the artists from all the world should share the unspoken bond of mutual respect between them as each one of them has its struggles. “Having said that, Ertuğrul is far from garbage, if anything the series is an eye-opener,” she added.
Hussain makes things personal
Many rallied behind Ashraf in defence of the Ertugrul actors, however it seems that this angered Ashraf who took to Instagram to tell Anoushey Ashraf to “Calm down”. In his Instagram comment, he stated that it was the disdain of the locals for their own products versus foreign ones that was telling of a larger societal issue. However, he did not stop there “Magar apne sari zindagi Angrezi boli or Angrezi gaanay bajaey apney show pe. Aapko samjhaana thora sa mushkil hai. (But you’ve only spoken in English and played English songs in your show, so you might find it harder to understand this”
Certainly a bit cheeky on part of relatively unknown "Yasir Hussain" to make this characterisation of 'international garbage' for Ertugrul stars when the series has generated lots of interest & certainly revenue world wide! https://t.co/9PX9UdlLiH
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) September 6, 2020
This propelled a swift backlash from Ashraf who stated “It’s okay if he thinks I misunderstood him. But for him to insinuate that a fellow Pakistani isn’t Pakistani enough because she speaks English or uses a Japanese istri (iron) – isn’t entirely fair…We all support local and always will, please do not mix the two. It isn’t so black and white”.
She even trolled him about how she needed to go use her Japanese car and hang out with her German friends, in response to his accusations about her not being local enough. However, she did take the time to ask her fans to not be disrespectful to Hussain and instead support his stance in looking out for local artists.
Previously Hussain had come for celebrity endorsements for products using international actors claiming “Don’t you think a Pakistani brand should have a Pakistani ambassador? Not Indian or Turkish? Is Mahira, Saba, Sonya, Minal, Aiman, Amar, Zara, Haniya, Sana, Yumna, Armeena, Sara, Hira… anyone not worthy enough to be a brand ambassador for a Pakistani brand?” which lead to a debate about the work and importance of international actors on Pakistani within Pakistan.
Hussain and Ashraf’s spat on social media underlines the current difference in opinion regarding the sudden Ertugrul craze within the industry.