Whether you and I agree or not, it is no joke that almost 21 million people watched the recent episode of Tere Bin. Best storytelling, writing or direction? No, the only hook at the 38th minute was whether the protagonist sexually assaulted his wife or not.

Well, at least our drama industry finally learnt how to keep people hooked by the end of the episode, but this is a NO! There is a thin line between responsible portrayal and exploitative sensationalism which is often blurred by our writers. Using the ambiguity of “rape or no rape” as a cliffhanger distorts the understanding of consent and manipulates emotions for the sake of ratings. For the past week, several fans were in the defending team, trying to normalise marital rape, while others commented that the girl deserved it. All this is for mere TRPs. Isn’t it unfortunate?

Source: Diva

As the public outcry reached the drama writers, supposedly the script was changed- but it still does not change the fact that the exploitative use of “rape or no rape” as clickbait in Pakistani dramas is not only ethically problematic but also detrimental to survivors and society as a whole.

While some Pakistani dramas may pride themselves on being the masters of suspense, the twisted tactic of using marital rape as clickbait is a whole new level of low. Because who needs sensitivity and ethical storytelling when you can exploit a deeply traumatic experience for a few more views, right? Bravo, drama makers, for devaluing the pain of survivors and contributing to a society where sensationalism trumps empathy. And yet, the worse a drama writer could do was to make it look like consensual sex.