Thursday Dec 05 2019
Web Desk

Pakistani wrestler says he was unfairly compensated by Riz Ahmed

Web Desk
Riz Ahmed — File photo

A wrestler who featured in the music video of British-Pakistani rapper and actor, Riz Ahmed, says he was exploited.

According to a thread posted on Twitter by Awais Khalid, a research associate, a wrestler named Rashid Pehlwan in Lahore was featured in a music video titled ‘Mogambo’ last year, when Ahmed visited Pakistan for a literary festival.

Rashid insists that he was not fairly compensated. He “was instead made to sign a questionable contract after the shoot,” Khalid wrote.

The wrestler told Khalid that last year some “goray” (foreigner) had took some pictures of him at his home, but forgot to ask him for consent to use those images in his music video.

“A few weeks after the shoot, Rashid received a call from someone from their team called Asha, who asked Rashid for his consent,” the post reads, “Rashid realized that these photos were going to be used for a much bigger project than he envisioned and asked for monetary compensation.”

The wrestler demanded Rs100,000, but he was only paid Rs15,000 and further promised to be given an additional amount of Rs40,000.

The “gora”, said Rashid, went by the name of “Riz”.

“A bit taken aback and not knowing how to respond,” Khalid wrote, “I asked him how he had liked the video. To my surprise, Rashid had not even seen the video that over 200,000 people on YouTube had already seen.”

Riz Ahmed has spoken about the making of the video in an interview with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

“Deciding not to fairly compensate Rashid/not showing him the video that thousands have already seen is only one form of injustice,” argued Khalid.

Rashid later also told Khalid that he felt hurt that Riz refused to acknowledge him on the talk show, after spending an entire day with him.

“Rashid is a full-time Pehlwan and with the decline of the popularity of the sport, he struggles to make ends meet on the minimum wage he earns playing for department teams. For @rizmc to exploit the labor of a man from a lower socioeconomic class makes this even worse,” the thread read.