Posing in front of a forest fire amid heatwave? Talk about influencer responsibility
As a severe heatwave causes widespread agony in the country, a social media star named Humaira Asghar with millions of followers is facing backlash after posing for a TikTok video in front of a forest fire. “Fire erupts wherever I am,” Humaira captioned a video of herself strolling about in a silver ball gown in front of a burning hillside.
It emerged after a man was caught earlier this month in Abbottabad, Pakistan, for deliberately igniting a forest fire as a backdrop for a video. Temperatures in some regions of the country have recently reached 51 degrees Celsius, leaving the poor and vulnerable fighting to stay cool.
What happened next:
Humaira, who has over 11 million TikTok followers, maintained she did not set the fire and that there was “no harm in filming videos” in a statement provided by an aide. The video has since been removed.
Why it matters:
Rina Saeed Khan Satti, an environmental activist and chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, told AFP that Humaira should have been holding a bucket of water to put out the fire instead of glamorising it. “The message these videos portray is far too dangerous, and it must be stopped,” Satti said.