Unilever Pakistan has released a statement amid the Lux Style Awards (LSA) controversy after several celebrities, including Meesha Shafi, opted out of participating in the award ceremony for Ali Zafar, alleged of sexual harassment by Meesha, has also been nominated for the award.
In its statement, Unilever, one of the organizers of the annual award show, said, “Respect, dignity and fair treatment are core principles at Unilever Pakistan. We expect all our employees, partners, customers and associates to adhere to the principles. Any allegation of misconduct on anyone associated with Unilever Pakistan or our brands, is taken very seriously.”
The statement read the nominations for the Lux Style Awards are decided by an independent and transparent Jury of industry peers and critics and the members of the Jury for 2019 were chosen by an independent board of Governors.
“Neither the Lux Style Awards nor Unilever Pakistan has ever intruded in the Jury’s independence, and we continue to respect their decisions,” the statement further read.
“We are aware of the case involving Mr Ali Zafar and Ms Meesha Shafi. The matter is presently sub judice and it would not be appropriate to comment on it,” it added.
Meesha Shafi had alleged her colleague Ali Zafar of sexual harassment in in June last year.
The case led to various celebrities boycotting the LSA 2019, leading to a heated controversy. Model Eman Suleman was the first to turn down her LSA nomination expressing how she did not wish to be nominated alongside an alleged harasser.
This followed boycotts by more fashion brands and celebrities, including Generation, makeup artist Saima Bargfrede, filmmaker Jami, model Rubbab Ali, singer Meesha Shafi, folk rock band The Sketches, designer Maheen Khan and makeup artist Fatima Nasir.
Singer Meesha Shafi, whose song ‘Mein’ was nominated for the best song, also demanded that her name and work be removed from the list of nominees given the current circumstances.
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) April 23, 2019