KARACHI – Ahmed Ali Butt, who was derided for a segment at the recently-held LUX Style Awards 2016 this week, responded to the criticism directed towards him and the event organizers in the worst-possible way.
The controversy erupted after some actors who were part of the prestigious Lux Style Awards took to social media platforms to slam the comedian Ahmed Ali Butt for making fun of people with dwarfism.
They were of the view that Ahmed Butt dragged a couple with dwarfism into a skit on “Jeena” – character of the hit TV serial, Man Mayal, played by actress Ayesha Khan. During the segment, Butt joked about the dwarfs being Jeena’s parents, to the amusement of the crowd full of celebrities and other VIPs.
According to critics, the segment’s punchline callously relied on the short height of the two dwarfs called on stage.
Butt has hit out at critics on Instagram by claiming that the segment was intended to make fun of Jeena, rather than the dwarfs. He also derided them for suddenly developing sympathies for the “dwarf community” and added that none of the performers involved in the segment, including the two dwarfs, who are also part of the show-biz industry, were offended by the joke. He concluded: “The problem lies with your (the critics’) perception of dwarfs.”
So this morning our beloved media published an article regarding my segment at LSA16 which featured two dwarfs and apparently its now being perceived as offensive. Here are my two cents on the matter, the segment was designed to make fun of Jeena’s character and why is she so popular. At no point in my script or act (as you will see when its telecast) did I make fun of my fellow dwarf actors as the joke was directed towards Jeena. So just to highlight those who are judging us on this please be advised that my fellow dwarf actors are professional actors who perform for a living and were doing the same on this platform! I’m sure you have always supported the “dwarf” community by giving them work, right? (I’m being sarcastic incase you get offended here also) So if my fellow actors didn’t get offended, and Ayesha Khan aka Jeena didn’t get offended and just the visual of seeing dwarf actors on stage made you judge us than the problem lies with your perception of dwarfs. I am always aware of what I write, perform and being an actor and host I am supportive of my community let them be dwarf, black, white, tall or even disabled. What matters is that they are passionate about their work and make a decent living out of it – that is called being inclusive in my eyes – and to give them a chance to work on a scale such as LSA is giving them recognition to showcase their talent. It is very easy to sit and write a social media status or article on how this and that offended you or a specific community but if that really did offend you then get up and do something about helping these people they don’t want your charity or sympathy – they just want to work and showcase their talent! #lsa2016 #15thluxstyleawards #openyoureyes
A photo posted by Ahmad Ali (@ahmedalibutt) on
However, Butt’s clarification falls flat because the dwarfs were added to the segment out of the blue, and had no connection with the serial Mann Mayal. It also fails to address the point that the entire punchline of the segment would have been different if the actors presented as Jeena’s parents were not so short.
Regarding the controversy, show-biz maven Frieha Altaf said, “The two individuals with dwarfism were intended to come out of the box onstage, but at the last minute Ahmed Ali Butt decided to improvise.”
She further added that sometimes improvisation works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
However, like Butt, Frieha also fails to address what the point of the segment was.