Cancellation of Riyadh show leaves some Saudis jubilant, many others upset

Cancellation of
Riyadh show leaves
some Saudis
jubilant, many
others upset
Mike Epps. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
Updated 12 December 2016

Cancellation of Riyadh show leaves some Saudis jubilant, many others upset

Cancellation of
Riyadh show leaves
some Saudis
jubilant, many
others upset

JEDDAH: A performance by US stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps in Saudi Arabia was canceled by organizers in response to criticism by conservatives who said on social media that the show was inappropriate for the Kingdom.
The performance was to take place next week at Riyadh’s Princess Nora University.
The organizing company, Master Events, tweeted: “Dear clients, we regret to inform you that the Mike Epps event has been canceled.”
“The show was canceled by the university and not by us as organizers,” said Master Events, which offered a full refund.
Master Events CEO Majed Al-Shehri said the university decided that the show was inappropriate for its premises. “We have informed the star (Epps) that the event has been canceled as the content doesn’t suit the university,” Al-Shehri said, adding that another reason was Epps’ safety. The star was criticized on Twitter.
The Arab News’ attempts to reach Princess Nora University for further comment were unsuccessful.
Epps is a famous American comedian who featured in the Hollywood blockbuster “The Hangover”. He was excited to appear in Saudi Arabia, tweeting: “Riyadh, Saudi Arabia! I’m coming to bring that funny on 12/16. Get your tickets now.”
However, there was a social media onslaught by some conservative individuals who said Epps and his show would not be welcome in Saudi Arabia, which eventually led to its cancellation.
Many other Saudis took to the social media to express regret about the university decision and said they were looking forward to the show.
The Saudi government — through its newly founded General Authority for Entertainment — has exerted unprecedented efforts to introduce new family-oriented and socially accepted entertainment forms. The Kingdom has penned agreements with top-notch US theme park operators and successfully managed to bring the New York theatrical group iLuminate, which performed at the Princess Nora University last October.
—With input from AFP