September 25, 2022
Here's Why Audiences Bashing HUM Awards Isn't Really Justified

Misinformation on the internet might be one of the biggest setbacks of this new age of social media. People never seem to fact-check anything they put out, and those on the receiving end don’t bother either. Speaking from a showbiz point of view, misinformation has been a huge issue even in the entertainment industry.

Celebrity scandals always come with a wave of misinformation to the public that, in many cases, is already inclined to believe the worst. A new scandal taking the rounds currently is the 8th HUM Awards taking place in Toronto this weekend. Let’s discuss what went down and why a lot of it makes no sense.

Why The Backlash

As we all know Pakistan at the moment is suffering from one of the worst floods in its history. With thousands having lost their lives and millions losing their homes and being relegated to relief camps, it is a devastating time for the country.

In the midst of this, we saw many stories come out of the entertainment industry as well like movie star Meera doing a dance performance in New York to raise funds for those affected by the floods. One other such story sees HUM Awards at the centre of it.

HUM TV is no stranger to backlash regarding one of their events. Back in 2018, they received similar backlash for their 6th HUM Awards that year which coincided with the General Elections of Pakistan. The masses were quick to bash them and all the celebrities that participated in the event rather than staying in the country to cast their vote.

This time it’s the 8th HUM Awards under fire, being held in Toronto on 24th September 2022. PPP politician Sharmila Faruqui took to Instagram and criticized the celebrities for not being there for those in need in the country while using international movie star and philanthropist Angelina Jolie as an example.

This led to audiences gunning for a boycott of the event and HUM TV as a whole, calling them insensitive and tone-deaf for having such an extravagant event when millions around the country are suffering.

Is It Justified?

While the anger is understandable, it is important that we look at the facts amidst all the noise surrounding this drama. Events as high profile as the HUM Awards are planned months in advance, from the venue to the performances and guests, everything is meticulously planned weeks before the event itself.

A similar argument was raised in defence of HUM TV back in 2018 as well. Bookings of venues of that calibre for events that are high profile cannot simply be postponed or cancelled in a matter of days. Celebrities that are set to perform have contracts in place for set performances which cannot be revoked. The date for the General Elections was announced after everything was already in motion regarding the HUM Awards.

The same is the case this time, with the tragedy only hitting a little while ago whereas the event has been planned for months in advance. Let’s also not forget that HUM TV has done a fine job tackling this issue from its own end even before this backlash ramped up.

The show from the get-go was advertised with a disclaimer that HUM will donate a portion of the earnings through ticket sales to the flood victims. HUM has done its part in helping those in need, also hosting a live fundraiser telethon via their foundation ‘HUMdard’ that was held in Karachi in early September. Another such fundraiser event was also held in Canada prior to the Awards which was attended by numerous celebrities. 

Celebs Come to The Defense

All this drama and backlash led to several celebrities coming to their own and HUM’s defence. We saw the likes of Ahmed Ali Butt who took to Instagram stories, sarcastically mocking those praising Angelina Jolie and calling out our people’s double standards or lack of fact-checking skills by pointing out how a portion of ticket sales will go to relief funds and that the event is not just some lavish party.

Mahira Khan, Ushna Shah and Haroon Shahid also joined in on this with Haroon taking to Twitter to let people know that they already are and will continue to do their part in raising awareness and doing everything they can to help those in need. 

We also however saw Azfar Rehman announce via Instagram post that he has chosen to not attend the event, having withdrawn by choice.

Ushna Shah, who is also in attendance at the fundraiser event in Canada, was seen posting from the event showing millions being raised for the relief funds.

Conclusion

Despite all of HUM’s efforts, the backlash is still nowhere close to dying down. It’s rather unfortunate that in most such cases of online backlash, audiences are proven to assume the worst without any fact-checking done from their end.

That’s exactly what we are seeing here, with #BoycottHumTV still being blasted at them under every post and #BoycottHumAwards trending on Twitter. The internet is a cesspool of misinformation and vicious hate cycles and unfortunately, this is just the next one.

The efforts of celebrities and HUM TV in raising all these funds should be commended rather than condemned. At the end of the day, we pray that these funds reach those in need and we hope this cycle of unwarranted hate ends soon.



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