Egypt bars Arabic version of US comedy over 'ethical' violations

2018-02-12 21:22


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egypt has banned the Arabic version of US comedy "Saturday Night Live" from television for violating ethical standards, the country's media regulator said.

"Saturday Night Live bil Arabi" began broadcasting on television two years ago, with episodes shot in Cairo.

It was being aired by both the ON TV network and the Dubai-based satellite service Orbit Showtime Network.

"The Supreme Council for Media Regulation has decided to stop the SNL in Arabic programme starting from today," the council said in a statement issued late on Sunday.

"The programme consistently used sexual expressions, phrases, and gestures which are not suitable for viewers and which violate ethical and professional standards."

Unlike the popular US version of SNL, the Egyptian edition kept clear of harsh political satire.

That used to be the focus of Bassem Youssef, a comedian known as Egypt's Jon Stewart whose show was cancelled in June 2014, days after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was elected.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

Youssef says he had come under pressure to end the show, and was concerned over the safety of his family at the time.

Instead of politics, it tried to focus its jokes on other aspects of life in the country.

Artists say censorship has gradually expanded since Sisi - then defence minister - led the military ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, a year before he himself was elected.

Several movies have been banned, including "In The Last Days of the City", although it has been screened in 60 countries and at 91 festivals, winning more than 10 prizes since 2016.

Another award-winning film, "The Nile Hilton Incident" directed by Tarik Saleh, a Swede of Egyptian origin, takes place in Egypt but could not be shot in the country. It was released in 2017 but cannot be shown in Egypt.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.