'Cancel Culture' is a broad term which can have a lot of negative aspects where celebrities are concerned. With the use of social media and other tools through which communication has been made more direct, a fair share of problems have also emerged.
The matter of 'cancel culture' started when a clip resurfaced from 2 years ago on talk-show, Tonite With HSY with renowned designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY), where the Baaji actor and Sadaf Kanwal were seen playing a 'guess the celebrity' game where Aamna Ilyas was seen 'body-shaming' former model and actor Aaminah Haq for gaining weight over the years. The Mehendi star however, responded to the video tactfully, stating,
"Truth be told, if body shaming me brought some small shred of joy in her life, then you're welcome. Unhappy people tend to gravitate towards hate, instead of kindness and compassion."
When fans tagged Haq in the video from 2 years ago and slammed Aamna Ilyas for her 'hypocritical' comments, the star addressed the issue immediately, clarifying how the video was old and how human beings make mistakes, even when broaching the topic on an Instagram Live session with HSY himself, Ilyas went back to the start regarding the controversy and acknowledged how her previous 'gesture' left fans disappointed as the star is famed for standing up against the norms.
"Not knowingly we make some gestures which offend," Aamna started off, "I also didn't realise until I saw the video now that I did that. And what I'm trying to say now is that there's always room for correction, we all are human beings, we all make mistakes, we all have come a long way and we learn from our mistakes. I think that was something I did in the spur of the moment, it was not something intentional."
The Ready Steady No accepted responsibility for her previous comments and further elaborated on how she is not who she used to be, shared in the video from her Instagram platform above. After addressing the comments in a rather humorous way, Ilyas concluded her statements by saying “Aaminah Haq, I cannot change what I did, I cannot undo the pain I might have caused you – but I try to be a better me every day. And for all you guys, for the last time, I am not her.” Aamna highlighted how social media is extremely quick to react and decide on a verdict before hearing the whole story.
Aamna Ilyas has not only been frequently making headlines due to recent resurfaced comments but also because of her stance against the endorsement of fairness creams. Recently, Mere Pass Tum Ho's Ayeza Khan landed herself in hot waters for endorsing fairness creams, which have become a topic of controversy lately in Pakistan, with other celebrities like Ayesha Omar and Mahira Khan standing against it. After sharing a video which was addressing cancel culture in society, Ayeza commented “My dear Amna, you have worked so hard to build this career for yourself and there’s so much more wiring for you in the future. Don’t indulge in this mess. My best wishes and love will always be with you,” after which Aamna inquired as to why the Thora Sa Haq star had unfollowed her.
With celebrities being in the public eye all the time, they are bound to make mistakes like any other human being, but 'cancel culture' comes into play when people withdraw or shame these figures online for various reasons. Although the cultural tactic has helped combat many sensitive issues and raise awareness about other topics, it brings to light the power of social media and the role it plays in deciding what to support and what to rise up against.
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