Big Bang Entertainment’s drama ‘Dunk’, airing on ARY Digital is on a high. The drama has been topping Twitter trends and sparking off debates with its controversial subject matter. Tackling how a false allegation of sexual harassment can destroy lives, the drama has its critics complaining that in a society where sexual harassment victims are not taking seriously, a story like this can do more damage than good.
Twitter going viral over Bilal Abbas’ performance following the seventh episode of Dunk
But then you see Dunk. Written by Mohsin Ali and directed by Badar Mehmood, the drama is gripping with the aid of its spectacular cast: Sana Javed, Bilal Abbas Khan, Naumaan Ejaz and Yasra Rizvi. It is adapted from a true incident when a professor actually committed suicide when falsely slammed with a sexual harassment allegation. The drama has been underway for several episodes now and it is a story well-told.
It is a story that we may not have seen because evidently it had been banned by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) following its very first episode. Complaints had been issued that the drama was going aginst the Me Too! movement leading to its subsequent banning. A day later, the Supreme Court overruled the ban and Dunk was back in the channel’s airing schedule.
When questioned, ARY Digital confirmed this.
However, as Dunk continues to unfold, it is riveting as a story and within its layers lie positive and negative characters, both male and female. It does take on the Me Too! movement in a way by pinpointing the miniscule percentage of sexual harassment allegations that are actually true. But so far, it seems to be more of a story centered around the human psyche and emotions rather than a battle between genders. At the same time, I hope that as the story progresses it also depicts the stronger, more positive characters in the narrative; Sana Javed’s friends, her mother, her aunt.
Sana, as it turns out, had used the harassment card to serve her purpose but will the women around her support her once they know the truth? And Yasra Rizvi, battling the world while protecting her little daughter, stands out as a strong, ethical woman.
Reason enough for banning? I don’t think so. PEMRA needs to consider entire storylines before passing its decrees.