Producers of Egypt's top satirist show terminate contract

Sunday 17-11-2013 09:44 PM
Producers of Egypt's top satirist show terminate contract

Egyptian political satirist and host of weekly Television show Bassem Youssef - Reuters


Cairo, November 17 (Aswat Masriya) - The producing company of Egypt’s top TV satirist show “The Program” has terminated its exclusive contract with the broadcasting channel CBC after it pulled the show off air, according to a statement issued by the company on Sunday.

QSoft said that it decided to take all legal actions to compensate the damages for CBC’s decision to pull the show, hosted by renowned satirist Bassem Youssef, off air.

The CBC did not air Youssef’s second episode of his third season in its weekly prime time earlier in November, saying that the episode violates the channel’s policies.

After a three-month break that followed the army’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, whom Youssef criticized extensively over the past year, the satirist returned on Friday with the first episode of the third season of his show.

In the episode, Youssef made it clear that while he did not support the Mursi administration, he is now opposed to idolizing General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the country’s defense minister who has grown popular over the past few months.

From its side, CBC network has previously announced that it would maintain “support to the general national decoroum and that it is keen not to allow gestures or phrases that would ridicule the sentiments of Egyptian people or symbols of the state.”

The show premiered in its second season on privately-owned CBC channel in November 2012 after moving from ONTV channel.

“Pulling the show off air reflects a very negative image to the world about democracy and the freedom of expression in Egypt after the June 30 revolution [when mass protests went out against Mursi],” QSoft said in its statement.

Meanwhile, a campaign promoting Egypt’s Defence Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who orchestrated Mursi’s ouster on July 3, to run for the upcoming presidential elections has also filed a complaint against Youssef, accusing him of insulting the army and its leaders.

The prosecution will investigate the legal complaints filed against the prominent satirist on Monday.

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