Pakistan’s one of most celebrated award shows, the Lux Style Awards are held every year to honor the extraordinary performances by actors, directors, lyricists, musicians and technicians. But, it seems the awards fraternity failed in living up to its words, when they excluded female musicians from their list of nominees and got bashed by singer Meesha Shafi
The Fuming Meesha
Shafi took to Instagram and questioned that ‘LSA Should Be Answerable For This Blatant Discrimination’. Meesha was further supported by the female members of the music fraternity like Zeb Bangash, Maria Unera, Rachel Viccaji, Momina Mustehsan, Risham Faiz Bhutta, Sameen Qasim, Natasha Noorani and others.
The Na Tutteya Ve singer spoke about the unfair nomination list, tagging it to fellow musicians. She wrote, “Not a single woman nominated in the LSA music nominations. Erasure at this scale (there is an exceptionally high number of nominations this time) of the entire female population occupying the Pakistani music industry is unjustifiable and highly problematic.”
She further pointed out the double standards of the brand, “The LSA brand and jury has set an example of women being blindsided and denied the recognition they deserve. A brand like Lux, who sells their soaps on the back of women in their ads, ought to be more mindful of women equity on their platforms, especially when there is no dearth of women singing/songwriting and releasing high quality music in any given year. LSA is accountable and should be answerable for this blatant discrimination.”
The Industry Support
Zeb Bangash reposted Meesha’s story expressing her disbelief on ‘how not even a single woman artist made the cut’?
Momina Mustehsan added, “Omitting female contributors even from the 80+ music works they did nominate in haphazard distribution. And that is exactly what the problem is. When we take responsibility for extending nods on behalf of people, we owe it to be intentional, responsible, inclusive and fair to all.”
Maria Unera supported Meesha’s stance and said, “You’ll have women sell you soaps and products but y’all don’t have the decency to nominate women in music? Should be ashamed of yourselves. I’m not even surprised anymore at this point, just straight-up disappointed.”
Punjabi musician Risham Faiz Bhutta, also tagged in the list by Meesha, took to Twitter to criticise the lack of inclusion. “I speak for all female musicians who have worked hard on their music/art. LSA should be answerable for this ignorance.”
Singer Rachel Viccaji also re-shared a post about Meesha, Zeb and Risham’s criticism of Lux Style Awards nominations and wrote, “Where is the appreciation for our female artists? Women have been SLAYING in the music industry!” and asked the award show organisers to “do better.”
Singer Sameen Qasim expressed her views on the subject and wrote, “While LSA has always existed as a corrupt and money-mongering model that only works in favour of the who’s-who of Pakistan, this level of erasure is shocking! I guess the music industry was already predominantly a boy’s club but now institutions that should judge talent regardless of (any) gender are also hopeless.”
The Baby Baby singer Natasha Noorani also reposted Meesha’s Instagram Story to write, “The systemic erasure of women in music always manifests in new ways. So sick of the boys’ club. Gatekeeping starts in the studio.”
One of the organisers of LSA, Fareshta Aslam responded to the online façade. “This is a submission list. Whoever submitted is on this list. Nominations will be announced after voting, and then finally a winner will be announced,” she said.
Keep watching this space for more updates.