The study aims to explore the celebritisation of the #MeToo movement in India and Pakistan by focusing on the process of news production and framing in dominant media discourses (news media talk shows), as well as citizen activism via hashtags on social media. The #MeToo movement is significant in the context of India and Pakistan because women have started to name and shame, and call out employers, family members, men in the position of power and accused them of sexual harassment, hence, disturbing the status quo (Rashid, 2019). I aim to study the news media and social media representations of silence breakers i.e., celebrities Tanushree Dutta in India and Meesha Shafi in Pakistan whose accounts of reporting harassment at the hands of powerful and celebrated media figures acted as a catalyst for the #MeToo movement in the subcontinent. I want to understand the contested discourses/actors operating across different and uneven media spaces with regards to the #MeToo movement and the role played by habitus of both these silence breakers in garnering media coverage for the movement.
Whilst there exists some research on the #MeToo movement in India and Pakistan, there is no research that focuses on the impact of celebrity culture on feminist social movements like the #MeToo in the subcontinent. Most of these studies are done through a comparison to the Global North. However, my research is unique as it brings geographical diversity to the scholarship around #MeToo, along with a unique methodological as well as a feminist digital ethnographic research methodology. My project is important and interesting because it proposes to establish a nuanced theoretical framework to examine the contentions regarding the #MeToo within hegemonic media discourses and activist media discourses and the influence of celebrity culture on media coverage of the #MeToo movement in India and Pakistan.