One day ago, Churails director Asim Abbasi took to Twitter and expressed his disappointment over the web show being allegedly taken down from Zee5. “How strange for #Churails to be lauded internationally, and now be shut down in its country of origin,” he posted. Abbasi continued, “In the very country where hundreds of artists came together to create something that could initiate dialogue and open doors for new narratives. Artistic freedom squashed because it is wrongly perceived by some as a moral threat. Predictable, and yet, still disappointing.” The filmmaker revealed that such a step is a big loss for women and marginalized communities, something that formed the major crux of the show too. Calling it a home-run for misogynists, the Cake director added, “They have once again proven that they are the only voice that matters.”
In a new development, it was reportedly Zee5 that took Churails down from the streaming site due to a specific scene in one of the episodes. The Pakistan Telecommunication Agency (PTA) allegedly denied having any involvement in this regard. “So Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has confirmed that it has not blocked #Churails Apparently #ZEE5 has taken it down due to public outrage about its one scene on #Twitter,” tweeted journalist Hasan Kazmi.
Many prominent personalities took to the micro-blogging site to support Abbasi when he initially tweeted. Ace entertainment reporter and journalist Haroon Rashid tweeted, “This is disappointing and a huge step back for the Pakistani entertainment industry. Stop brushing real issues under the carpet. Stop glorifying domestic violence and normalising misogyny on TV. Stop restricting women from having a fair platform to be their unapologetic selves.” A popular face in the entertainment circuit, Nida Kirmani lamented, “Sadly, not strange at all given where this country has been going. Members of the public are treated like children. Men are treated like beasts. Women are treated as nothing more than sexual objects. All forms of expression stifled.” Shehzad Ghias Shaikh tweeted, “Another day in Pakistan.”