Zhalay Sarhadi Now Says We Misunderstood Her ‘Slap on the Face’ Comment

Here’s what she actually meant.

Zhalay Sarhadi and Isra Bilgic

Zhalay Sarhadi has received criticism for her latest comments against Esra Bilgic, where she said, 

“We have short term gains. If you have chosen Halima and made her a brand ambassador over here, its a slap to our faces. It’s an actual slap to our faces. Why are you borrowing a star from another country?”

Since then, she has now come forward to clarify her comments in the face of that backlash. Her controversial comments were part of an interview that took place after Esra was appointed as the brand ambassador for Qmobile and then also became the face of national telecommunication network Jazz.


Zhalay Sarhadi Says Hiring Esra Bilgic is ‘A Slap On Our Faces’ [Video]

In her previous comments, Sarhadi had also gone on to support Yasir Hussein who has been quite vocal against the influence of popular drama Ertugrul and the role of its stars in the Pakistani industry. 

Following the backlash her comments received, the Pakistani actress took to Twitter to defend her statement, saying that it was ‘our very own people’ she was being critical against and she had no problems with Esra or Turkish content as a whole. 



However, she continued to defend her previous statement of it being “the slap to our faces” [sic] because of faults within our own industry. 


Along with Sarhadi, Yasir Hussein has also been a vocal critic of the Turkish drama. Following the Turkish’s star’s appointment as Qmobile brand ambassador, Hussein took to Instagram to express his disappointment and wondered why brands couldn’t hire Pakistani actresses instead. 

Actress Reema Khan was also part of the voices that initially criticised the drama’s influence on Pakistan and then was later forced to clarify. Khan had previously criticised PTV for broadcasting the Urdu dubbed version of the famous show as Ertugrul Ghazi. According to her, the move was harmful to local artists who were also taxpayers. After being forced to clarify her comments she said 

“All I said was that if this is being broadcast on our national channel there should be a ‘barter system‘. Barter system means our archives have olf PTV content if that were dubbed and aired in Turkey or this should be discussed with their government, then the revenue from that would boost our production.”


It’s interesting that so many artists have voiced out such emotional statements following the rise of the Turkish drama, and almost all these statements have been controversial or unclear enough to later have to be clarified. 


Sarhadi and Khan both seem to twist their words a little bit in their clarifications. And even if that’s not the case, there’s a clear trend that Pakistani stars feel threatened by the new show’s popularity.

It’s an interesting stance to take given that Pakistani TV has recently come under fire for its lack of diverse storylines and awkward portrayals of unhealthy romantic relationships. Maybe it’s time our stars look inwards into their own influence before criticizing others?


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  1. Yasir Hussain.Plz stop behaving like such.U are a good actor.We do support U But we Are just appreiciating Our muslim Brothers and siters.And being an ambassador is Not a Thing.As U have said that Iqra is an Ambassador already.So Why other actresses of Pakistan aren’t saying that “kia Hum qabil nahi ambassador banne ke.”Izzat Allah Deta hai.Jis ko wo chahe.Ap logon ko bhi mili hai.Unhain bhi Hamare mulk main milli hai.Apna Impression kharab mat karain Plzzz..

  2. With the passage of time it has been cleared that true beauty, passion in acting, extrem of creativity just lies in Turkish industry..our actors, directors writers stand no where in regard Turkish entertainment industry…yasir hussain, what is your profile?who do you think you are? And your iqra does she has a calibre like hurum sultan, kusum sultan?? And many others not a single actor of pakistan industry is matchable with Mera Sultan lead actor Halit Ergence….so keep your mouth shut……and keep working on disgusting roles cheap storylines and pathetic dramas and steryotype acting and this is for all the freternity of your industry………. And we are from seeing all overrated and over age actressess you mentioned esp most overrated your mahir khan……

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