Breaking Bad’s Gustavo “Gus” Fring coming to Saudi Arabia Feb. 17

Actor Giancarlo Esposito. (AP)
Updated 08 April 2017
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Breaking Bad’s Gustavo “Gus” Fring coming to Saudi Arabia Feb. 17

JEDDAH: Giancarlo Esposito, the actor best known as Gus Fring in the television series “Breaking Bad,” will be one of the international celebrity guests featured in the Saudi Comic Con (SCC).
Esposito, who previously visited Riyadh, mentioned to his representatives that he would be interested in seeing “other parts of this beautiful country and Saudi Comic Con was brought to my attention,” he said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.
He said that he loved the Saudi culture and its people and enjoyed his stay in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia was not the only stop in the Gulf, as Esposito has also visited Bahrain in the past years.
The idea of bringing the Comic Con event to Saudi Arabia for the first time interested the “Breaking Bad” star.
“It’s great! The young and old have such a good time at Comic Cons. It’s wonderful to be a part of the first Comic Con and I hope many more will come from this,” he said.
Esposito expressed his enthusiasm for meeting his fans from different countries and “Saudi Arabia especially.”
In 1988, he landed his breakout role as the leader of the black fraternity “Gamma Phi Gamma” in director Spike Lee’s film School Daze. Over the next four years, Esposito and Lee collaborated on three other movies: “Do the Right Thing,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Malcolm X.”
The actor’s famous character “Gus” from the “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” television series is a major drug kingpin initially affiliated with the Mexican drug cartel in Ciudad Juárez, who uses his restaurant as a front for methamphetamine distribution throughout the American southwest.
He returns to reprise the role in the third season of “Better Call Saul.”
Esposito appeared in several international Comic Cons, which are some of his favorites.
“I’m looking forward to be in the very first Saudi Arabia Comic Con Feb. 17th,” he said. “Come on and say hello to me! You will not be disappointed. Really looking forward to my live Q & A and meeting each and every one of you,” he said in his announcement video to Arab News readers.
Esposito said that Gus Fring character challenging. “I felt like I had to become very relaxed, patient, focused and fierce to play him,” he said.
He talked about defying challenging obstacles in his job. On one occasion he took the stage after throwing out his back right before performing a play in New York. “I just remember being in pain, intense pain. I thought to myself before I hit the stage, to use it!”
Esposito had the best performance that evening and the pain eventually went away. He reminded people that when they put their attention in the right place, “all goes well no matter what.”
Talking about the most extreme change to his physical appearance, Esposito has gained weight for roles in the past; where he gained about 25 pounds in Spike Lee’s, Do the Right Thing.
As for his acting style, Esposito said that he takes the best and leaves the rest. He believes in being present and honoring the text. “I am present and nonresistant in my acting style.”
Esposito’s first role was in Broadway show called Maggie Flynn back in 1967.
Meanwhile, the star is working on his second film as a director premiering at SXSW in Austin. The film is called “This Is Your Death” and stars Josh Duhamel and himself.
Esposito said he wants to play Hailie Salasie of Ethiopia make a western playing Bass Reeves.”
Comic Con is an international event that was first held in San Diego, California in 1970. It is now an annual event held in popular cities around the world. 


KSA complains to FIFA about Qatar’s BeIN using World Cup as political tool

Updated 19 June 2018
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KSA complains to FIFA about Qatar’s BeIN using World Cup as political tool

  • The federation called on FIFA in its complaint to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.
  • Some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against the “politicization” of World Cup coverage by the Qatar-owned broadcaster. 

DUBAI: The Saudi Football Federation has filed an official complaint to FIFA over the Qatar-owned BeIN Sports network’s use of World Cup broadcasts as a means of spreading political messages aimed at insulting Saudi Arabia and its leaders.

This falls within the network’s ongoing attempts to instigate hatred in the region, it said.

The federation said its complaint calls on FIFA to address the unacceptable abuse by the channel of its tools for politicizing the media. This was clear after the World Cup’s opening match between Saudi Arabia and Russia and contrary to the laws of the international federation, which stresses the need to exclude sport from politics.

The federation called on FIFA in its complaint to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.

Meanwhile, some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against the “politicization” of World Cup coverage by the Qatar-owned broadcaster. 

The website sports4everyone.org created the petition and invited fans around the world to urge FIFA President Gianni Infantino to investigate the coverage by the Qatari broadcaster’s Arabic channel.

Among the signatories are Egyptian national football player Ahmed Hassan, Al Arabiya’s Sports Editor Battal Al-Goos, and former Saudi national team captain Yousuf Al-Thunayan.

BeIN Sports holds the rights to broadcast World Cup games across the Middle East and North Africa, although its channels are not available in Saudi Arabia, one of four Arab nations locked in a diplomatic dispute with Qatar over the latter’s alleged ties to terror groups. Doha denies the charges. 

“Sport rises above politics. FIFA tried to keep politics away from games. As fans, we are saddened by BeIN using its permission to telecast sports to transmit its political agenda, violating FIFA rules,” the petition read.

The petition website includes nine clips from BeIN Sports featuring pundits and presenters politicizing the match between Saudi Arabia and the host nation, Russia. 

In one of the station’s broadcasts, a commentator accused Saudi Arabia of “selling out the Palestinian cause,” while in another the host suggested the Kingdom’s top sporting officials will become “prisoners at the Ritz-Carlton,” a reference to the detentions in Riyadh during last year’s anti-corruption drive.

Egyptian media analyst Abdellatif El-Menawy said BeIN had “distorted the global football event” by using it as a political tool against Saudi Arabia.

“This is an infringement of the rules and standards of professional media,” El-Menawy told Arab News on Saturday. 

“BeIN Sports has abandoned neutrality and professionalism,” he added, saying the network’s coverage after Saudi Arabia’s 5-0 defeat by Russia was “gloating” and “sarcastic.”