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Social media has taken it as its moral duty to blow things out of proportion. The blown-out-of-proportion thing for today is Mohib Mirza’s Facebook rant about presenting awards for free. To first get up to speed, here is the post itself:


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This prompted a few news publications to get the whole industry’s opinion on the matter. Opinions of the industry, as well as people who are irrelevant, started pouring in. Next thing you know, everyone is fussing over it. Which begs us to ask the following question: why?

Why is this being considered an unusual request? It makes perfect sense for a well known celebrity to charge money for his services. Because Mohib Mirza isn’t just a performer on screen, even his appearance on a red carpet can generate business. Why should he do that for free? Also, why would anyone in their right mind take out an entire evening, sit through the long painful hours of an awards show that will never start on time, unless they have something to get out of it? To make more sense out of this, we made a list of people who would come to an awards show willingly.

1. Award winners and nominees

Obviously, if you’re winning an award, you have to attend the show (unless you’re Jami, then you can simply send a WhatsApp message and get one of your cast members to read it out on stage.) While the winners are probably not told officially whether they’re winning or not, but I’m sure the actors have an idea based on the work that they’ve done. For instance, Sarmad Khoosat can be confident that he’s going to win something if he’s made a film like Manto. Even if they don’t have an idea, they still make an appearance and it makes sense to because they have a chance of winning acknowledgement for all their hard work and that is sometimes better than money.

2. Contractual obligations

These are the people who did get paid at some point and are now stuck with having to show up to affiliated events. Basically, a brand will offer you a project (a TVC or a digital campaign, for instance) and in their contract they will add a few special requests as well, which may include morning shows and celebrity appearances. Usually, the brand doesn’t specify exactly when and where these appearances will happen, only a number is decided. Therefore, when you sometimes see celebrities on a red carpet to some random shop opening, they’re contractually required to be there. But again, unlike Mohib Mirza, these people have been paid earlier so technically, they’ve been paid too.

3. The social climbers

These are our favourite kind… not. In every entertainment industry, there are models and starlets who are really motivated (read desperate) to make it to the top so they think the best way is to hobnob with the right people and be seen everywhere. However what is actually seen is their attempts to be famous and everyone unfortunately sees through it. Regardless, it makes sense for these people to come to these award shows for free because they need/want the publicity. Again, they’re getting something out of it.

4. Performers

Technically anybody who has been paid to be part of the show has to be there. Obviously. So if Mahira Khan is performing the finale or if Ahmed Ali Butt is hosting a little segment on stage or Anoushey Ashraf is on the red carpet, they will be at the show because they have been paid for it.

In conclusion, we would just like to say that it’s ridiculous that Mohib’s Facebook status is being treated like ‘news’ because it isn’t. It’s a very fair demand made by an actor who doesn’t need the publicity or ‘exposure.’ A celebrity is a brand on his own and anything that he does that generates money for someone else should be paid for. It’s unfair when big brands and companies deprive our artists by taking favours for their own profits.