Pakistani Wrestler accuses Riz Ahmed of Exploitation in Video

Pakistani wrestler, Rashid Pehlwan has blamed Riz Ahmed for financially exploiting him for his large contribution in the track, ‘Mogambo.’

Pakistani Wrestler accuses Riz Ahmed of Unfair Payment for Video f

"He was not fairly compensated for his time"

A Pakistani wrestler has accused British-Pakistani rapper and actor, Riz Ahmed of financial exploitation for a music video.

The Pakistani Wrestler, named Rashid Pehlwan from Lahore, Pakistan starred in the music video for Riz Ahmed’s track, ‘Mogambo.’

According to a Twitter thread posted by a research associate, Awais Khalid, Rashid Pehlwan featured in the music video in 2018.

During that time, Riz Ahmed visited Pakistan for a literary festival.

Despite the Pakistani wrestler appearing on the album cover as well as in the music video, he was unfairly paid. Awais Khalid went to Twitter to state:

“In October 2018, @rizmc dropped his track ‘Mogambo’ on YouTube.

“Rashid Pehlwan (pictured on this album cover) played a significant role in the music video, but he was not fairly compensated for his time and was instead made to sign a questionable contract AFTER the shoot.”

The Pakistani wrestler explained to Khalid that in 2018, some “goray” (foreigners) came to his home to take pictures of him.

Initially, they did not seek his consent for using the pictures in a music video. The Twitter thread continued to state:

“A few weeks after the shoot, Rashid received a call from someone from their team called Asha, who asked Rashid for his consent.

“Rashid realised that these pictures were going to be used for a much bigger project than he envisioned and asked for monetary compensation.”

For his involvement, the Pakistani wrestler demanded Rs 100,000 (£1067.70). However, he was only paid Rs 15,000 (£160.16).

He was then promised an additional sum of Rs 40-45,000 (£427.08-£480.40), which he did not receive.

Rashid Pehlwan claimed that the “gora” was known as “Riz.” Having discovered that the “gora” was, in fact, Riz Ahmed, Awais Khalid was “a bit taken aback and not knowing how to respond.”

Awais continued to write: “I asked him how had liked the video. To my surprise, Rashid had not even seen the video that over 200,000 people on YouTube had already seen.”

Awais highlighted how Rashid, who was being unfairly compensated, was also being treated with injustice by not having seen the video. Awais argued:

“The purpose of this thread is to point out the structural injustice that exists even in the ‘art’ that is meant to be countering popular discourse.

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

Riz Ahmed also appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show to discuss the making of ‘Mogambo.’

The Pakistani wrestler reminded Awais Khalid that Riz denied that he knew him on the talk show. Awais posted:

“The two spent an entire day together and Rashid feels hurt that Riz would not even make this simple acknowledgement.”

Awais Khalid continued to condemn Riz for exploiting the profession of a man who is struggling financially. He said:

“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 labour of a man from a lower socioeconomic class makes this even worse.”

Despite the ‘art’ culture semingly tackling such prejudices in society, this type of unfair treatment is everywhere.

Many users voiced their disappointment on Twitter. Hamza said: “Did not expect this from @rizmc.

Likewise, Sana Ahmad said: “Omg this is so disappointing from @rizmc and his team’s part.”

According to Geo TV, there is no doubt that the Pakistani wrestler, Rashid Pehlwan was exploited. Despite his heavy contribution to the project he was not paid fairly.

We are yet to hear a response from Riz Ahmed or his team on this matter.

Watch the video to ‘Mogambo’ here


Ayesha is an English graduate with an aesthetic eye. Her fascination lies in sports, fashion and beauty. Also, she does not shy away from controversial subjects. Her motto is: “no two days are the same, that is what makes life worth living.”

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