Recently, Balaa actress Ushna Shah was attacked for her alleged offensive tweets towards healthcare workers. It appears as if matters weren't as imminent then as they are now, with people having a similar reaction to the same subject globally as reported by Daily Mail; questioning it and stating their opinion or agitation on the matter which they took offence to personally, finding it disrespectful and untimely given the current tense predicament we constantly hear about in the news internationally.
The Crux of The Matter
She was criticised for her insensitive take on the organised dancing of doctors and medical staff in hospitals as she wrote in a deleted tweet,
“I'm curious to know people's thoughts on doctors/nurses creating choreographed dances in hospitals. I'm conflicted: on one hand I understand they need uplifting breaks, but on the other, these dances seem quite time consuming, precious time consuming. Thoughts?”
This tweet garnered an influx of hateful comments which seemed to take a personal turn as the Lashkara star was berated by online “trolls” the same way as when a harmless video of her and Suno Chanda’s Iqra Aziz dancing in a hotel room in Thailand went viral. The actresses received abhorrent backlash for what seemed like genuine enjoyment. Ushna’s tweet went viral on every platform, consistently criticising the artist’s personal life, character and life rather than focusing on the subject of the tweet itself.
How Is One Supposed To Deal With Online Harassment?
Being a public figure in the spotlight, handling and controlling the hype caused is an equally difficult task while having to hear and face all sorts of horrid allegations about yourself. Shah took to her social media to issue a heartfelt apology about her tweet, yet now abroad there have been instances of people being enraged about the very same thing the actress questioned.
Families were angered by what they claimed were “disrespectful” videos of NHS staff workers dancing while patients were reportedly suffering due to cancelled operations. Enraged family members of patients and social media users alike tweeted in response, ‘I've seen it from several different hospitals, it's so disrespectful when there are so many ill and dying. Imagine someone who has just lost a loved one seeing these dumb videos’, with others acknowledging the hard work but complaining against the ill-timing,
‘I’m sure they're working hard, but the timing of dancing clips isn't really now.’
The videos of medical-workers dancing to boost morale and keep positivity afloat is commendable, as they are human beings, working tirelessly to save lives and put a smile on the faces of their patients, there is no taking from that. But people have admitted to being offended as well others attesting to how this causes stress relief and helps lift spirits of both patients and the medial frontline workers. However, the serious issue is cyber-bullying and the all-to-real fear behind it.
Why Is There A Constant Attack On Women In Our Industry?
This is not the first time Ushna has had to withstand the unforgiving world of social media. Previously, she has constantly chosen to fight off cyber-bullies, defending the defenceless, including instances when they made a young girl suicidal because of a video that went viral. Is standing up for people against bullies considered a crime? The internet is a two-dimensional screen which certain individuals seem to take as a guise for unsolicited, appalling behaviour, completely destroying somebody’s character irregardless of the consequence.
Subsequently, fellow actors have had to shut online harassment down as well, including Iqra Aziz, Hareem Farooq, Sarwat Gilani Mirza and politician Sharmila Faruqui.
The nation has seen cyber-bullying go to the extent of being brutal, ruining people’s mental health and scarring them or their loved ones for life, as Sharmila conveyed ‘we leave no opportunity to bring a woman down’.
What Causes This Unnatural Phenomenon & Will It Ever Stop?
Cyber-bullying is regarded as a crime in this day and age as it has led to tragic incidents and lawsuits being issued against “cyber bullies” who pick apart individuals, targeting celebrities more so. For an alleged insensitive or offensive tweet is it justified to attack the human being despite their apologies or taking back of the statement? A mistake or expression of opinion does not warrant spiteful comments on an individual’s way of life.
Ushna, being the most recent celebrity to battle online harassment, addressed the “trolls” who ‘foam at the mouth and get personal and disrespectful every time they read something they don’t like’, as the masks cyber-bullies hide behind are, in turn, a ruse of feigned control, through which they use a screen to convey messages of hate to get a false sense of confidence, taking no responsibility for how their ludicrous remarks damage the lives of people. Celebrities are human beings as well and cyber-bullying should not be tolerated.