Why Pakistani Twitterati Are Miffed With Priyanka Chopra

New Delhi: Priyanka Chopra, who has been at the forefront of efforts to increase visibility for South Asian artistes in Hollywood and international cinema has ended up annoying some people with her description of Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy as “South Asian.”

Priyanka organizes a pre-Oscar event in Los Angeles to honour South Asian excellence and achievers in the world of cinema – which Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy attended this year. Chinoy, who directed two episodes of Ms Marvel, starring a South Asian cast and partly set in Pakistan, will helm an untitled Star Wars film, it was announced about a week ago.

Priyanka Chopra posted an Instagram Story congratulating the filmmaker, writing: “First person of colour and first woman to direct a Star Wars film… And she’s South Asian!! What a historic moment Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. So so proud of you my friend. May the force be with you!”

Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui, who also acted in Sridevi’s last film MOM, was among those who took offence at Priyanka’s failure to specify Ms Obaid Chinoy’s nationality. Over the weekend, he tweeted: “With due respect, Priyanka Chopra, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a Pakistani first just to brush up your knowledge. Much like the way you flaunt your Indian nationality whenever you get the opportunity before claiming to be a South Asian.” Siddiqui offered no instances of Priyanka Chopra having “flaunted” her Indian identity as he put it.

In the comments thread, several verified handles of Pakistani nationality or origin agreed. Writer Faisal Kapadia wrote: “Sharmeen is a Pakistani and she should be called that.” Journalist Anis Farooqui replied to Adnan Siddiqui, “Very true Adnan bro.” Filmmaker Shahnawaz Zali, however, begged to differ: “Nothing wrong being called a South Asian (which we are and proud) maybe you should just appreciate things when they are said rather than always and consistently trying to find flaws in it.” Others criticising Priyanka Chopra called her a bigot and worse.

See Adnan Siddiqui’s post here:

Notably, neither Priyanka Chopra nor Chonoy has responded to the tweets..

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