“Collaboration doesn’t mean someone is being exploited."
Actor and influencer Khaqan Shahnawaz recently shared his perspective on the growing attention garnered by the popular YouTuber Arshad Reels.
He raised questions about potential exploitation for likes and views.
Taking to his Instagram story, Khaqan Shahnawaz opined:
“Everyone is just exploiting Arshad Reels and his kids. Sadly, that’s just the way the world is.
“I really hope he’s charging these people because he doesn’t need them, they need him.”
While not explicitly naming anyone, Khaqan criticised content creators who have collaborated with Arshad Reels.
Khaqan expressed particular concern for Arshad and his children, who have gained internet fame in both India and Pakistan.
Their life lessons videos are based on religious teachings, where Arshad engages with his wife and children, and have garnered widespread attention.
Anticipating that Arshad might be compensated for his collaborations, Khaqan Shahnawaz’s comments were shared by an entertainment website on Instagram.
Content creator Sheikh Umar Saleem, who recently collaborated with Arshad Reels, responded to Khaqan’s remarks.
He defended the collaborations as not tantamount to exploitation.
He stated: “Collaboration doesn’t mean someone is being exploited. It is done with consent and mutual understanding.”
Sheikh Umar maintained that the collaboration was meant to appreciate and respect Arshad Reels as a genuine hardworking content creator.
Responding to critics, he stated: “Some people are showing their hate and frustration in the name of concern. Let them do it.”
In the comments section, Arshad Reels himself intervened.
He asserted that viewers appreciate his family and urged others not to concern themselves with whether he is being paid.
He emphasised that respect and disrespect are ultimately in God’s hands. He stated that individuals are not in a position to provide or take anything from anyone.
Areeba Tirmizi, a Pakistani artist said:
“Our team invited Arshad reels to appreciate his work and to genuinely and respectfully meet them. Khaqan is just trying too hard to be relevant.”
In response to online backlash, Khaqan clarified on Instagram that his statement was misunderstood.
He specified that his remarks were directed at larger corporate brands’ practices, not individual creators. However, the public had a lot to say to Khaqan.
One user said:
“Arshad is not dumb. He has a whole team managing him.”
Another claimed: “He’s just mad that he didn’t get a chance to meet Arshad.”
One wrote: “They are not being exploited. Their collaborations are very sweet and positive.”
With Arshad’s Reels going viral across borders, many celebrities and media sensations are using his voice for their videos.