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Bullied and hurt: Urwa Hocane says director Nadeem Baig ‘misrepresented her publicly’

  • March 18, 2023

Director Nadeem Baig was recently invited to a local game show hosted by Fahad Mustafa and asked about who throws the most tantrums on set. In a rapid fire round, he was offered to choose between Urwa Hocane, Ayeza Khan and Mehwish Hayat – all female actors, might we add – and the filmmaker went with the former.

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Taking to Instagram on Friday, Hocane posted an elaborate note addressing Baig’s answer while calling out the show for promoting “formats” that trigger a negative response “for the sake of ratings in the garb of fun.” Asserting that she is “speaking straight from the heart”, Hocane wrote, “It is so unfortunate that the formats of our shows are such that each member of the industry has to put the other down for the sake of ratings in the garb of fun. Now that it’s come to this, I would like to elaborate my side of [the] story.”

Calling the producer “Nadeem bhai“, the actor wrote, “[He] and I have only done one project together and had one difference [of] opinion about the song Lak Hilna where we eventually went with his aesthetics, choice of song and the dance step[s], as I sensed he was unwilling to hold a discussion.” Baig had worked with Hocane in Punjab Nahi Jaungi, which released back in 2017. The hit film saw Hocane play the role of Durdana Butt.

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Hocane claimed that as a society, we have become intolerant to differences in opinion, especially when it’s coming from a woman. “Despite being extremely trolled for the song, I never threw my director under the bus out of respect for him. I am so hurt [by] how my personality is being misrepresented publicly merely for holding a healthy discussion on set which I believe is [the] basis to team work while in all these years it was never pointed out to me in person.”

Hocane felt that it is on her too for not realising early on that voicing one’s opinions will make no difference if she’s working with people who will instantly dismiss them. “Today I am wise [enough] to not be at a workplace where I sense regressive and repulsive behaviour towards having an idea or input and where one’s voice is impulsively dismissed as a woman’s. This may leave one with a few work options in our small industry but I’d rather be my true authentic self as I don’t know another way to be.”

The Udaari actor relayed that life as a public figure is “hard enough” with so many haters. “Being in the public, we’re already so prone to unnecessary trolling. How nice would it be if our dear colleagues didn’t play a part in it, instigating the audience further to target a certain individual. It’s hurtful and malicious. I really hope this makes everyone understand that these games can actually be harmful for someone’s mental health and well being,” she said.

Hocane urged for everyone to celebrate and encourage each other’s work, “Life if too short and all one is left with is regret when it’s too late,” she concluded with the hashtag, “Say No To Bullying”.

In the comment section of Hocane’s Instagram post, her sister and fellow actor Mawra Hocane wrote, “I have personally witnessed you go through all of this and more. Misunderstood and misrepresented. Most of all, being brave through all of it. May you always lead the way with your strength and grace Insha’Allah and always remember [that] honour and sustenance are in Allah’s hands… Just keep going, I love you always.”

Her husband actor Farhan Saeed and actor Nadia Jamil also voiced their support under the post.

Baig has not responded to Urwa’s statement yet.

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