Dubai fitness influencer in hot water over comments amid coronavirus crisis

The influencer (not pictured in this stock photo) raised the issue of running outdoors. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 25 March 2020

Dubai fitness influencer in hot water over comments amid coronavirus crisis

DUBAI: On Monday, Dubai-based influencer Semia Azaiz, who goes by “The Trendy Frenchie” on Instagram, uploaded a series of videos on her account seemingly implying that her followers should go against the advice of health authorities regarding staying at home as much as possible in order to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, prompting several Twitter users to report the video by tagging the Dubai Police.

On Tuesday, Dubai Police announced that a member of the public had been arrested for "showing her indifference to the #StayHome national campaign."

"Dubai Police has arrested a European national of Arab origin for posting a video showing her indifference to the #StayHome national campaign and encouraging people to defy authorities' social distancing instructions. Legal measures were taken against her. The case has been referred to the Federal Public Prosecution for Information Technology Crimes. Dubai Police stresses the importance of residents fully complying with directives issued by authorities to safeguard public health," it tweeted on Tuesday evening. 



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#repost @dubaimediaoffice ・・・ شرطة دبي تلقي القبض على شابة أوروبية من أصول عربية بثت مقطع فيديو يظهر عدم اكتراثها بمبادرة #خلك_في_البيت والتعليمات الصحية والأمنية الحالية، وتحولها إلى نيابة مكافحة جرائم تقنية المعلومات بالنيابة العامة الاتحادية. الشرطة تؤكد أهمية الالتزام بالتعليمات حفاظاً على السلامة العامة، وتحذر من مخالفتها. عقوبة الحبس وغرامة لا تقل عن 200 ألف درهم ولا تتجاوز مليون درهم، أو إحدى العقوبتين، لكل من دعا أو حرض بأي طريقة تقنية أو وسيلة معلوماتية لعدم الانقياد إلى القوانين والأنظمة المعمول بها في الدولة. . Dubai Police has arrested a European national of Arab origin for posting a video showing her indifference to the #StayHome national campaign and encouraging people to defy authorities' social distancing instructions. Legal measures were taken against her. The case has been referred to the Federal Public Prosecution for Information Technology Crimes. Dubai Police stresses the importance of residents fully complying with directives issued by authorities to safeguard public health. Inciting non-compliance with safety measures will lead to imprisonment and/or a fine of between AED200,000 and AED1 million.

A post shared by Dubai Police شرطة دبي (@dubaipolicehq) on

In the video posted by the influencer, she seems to mock the measures. 

“Finally, we’re going for a run,” said Azaiz who is seen outside with one of her friends. “I wanted to tell you that yesterday I went for a run with my friend and I was afraid to put up a video because two days ago when I was running and when I told people they should go out and do whatever they want, I have been attacked on social media, I was called irresponsible and crazy,” she continued.

“However, I’m doing small runs. I’m by myself or I bring a friend with me because I don’t want to make anyone unhappy and I don’t want to take any risks. But what I’m saying is you don’t have to take part in this campaign, staying at home,” she said. 

“Do whatever you wanna do, no matter what’s out there. If you want to leave the house, go for a walk or go for a run, just do it. Stay positive and stop adding to this drama staying at home. Why are you staying at home?” she said to her 41,000 Instagram followers in the now-deleted videos, which have garnered immense backlash on social media since their upload — some users even reported the clips to Dubai Police.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Trendy frenchie(@the_trendy_frenchie) on

Today, Reebok MENA released a statement saying that they are cutting ties with the influencer over her comments.

“Reebok MENA, in no way shape or form, endorses the activities of @the_trendy_frenchie and has immediately suspended all collaborations with her,” wrote the athletic label. “She previously attended a Reebok event in January and posted recently. Her comments are misleading and do not represent the core values or principles that the brand stands for. We encourage the entire community to stay at home and practice social distancing,” said the statement. 




Instagram/@reebokmena

Azaiz’s comments came just after the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan, took to Instagram and Twitter to share a lengthy, heartfelt plea urging the residents of UAE to stay home amid the rapidly spreading coronavirus. 

Meanwhile, on Monday night, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa lit up with the message “Stay Home... Stay Safe.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#StayHome #خلك_في_البيت

A post shared by Burj Khalifa (@burjkhalifa) on


REVIEW: Shadows loom over ‘Rebecca’

Updated 6 min 9 sec ago

REVIEW: Shadows loom over ‘Rebecca’

  • Adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel lacks the substance to back its style

LONDON: Following a whirlwind romance in Monaco, a naïve young woman journeys to her new husband’s lavish estate, only to find the staff still under the thrall of his recently deceased first wife — the impossibly beautiful, charming and charismatic Rebecca de Winter.

Much like Lily James’ unnamed narrator of “Rebecca” — Netflix’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel — director Ben Wheatley seems to feel the constant shadow of impossible expectation looming over him. After all, a 1940 take on the book (directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine) won the Academy Award for Best Picture and was recently inducted into the United States National Film Registry.

“Rebecca” is directed by Ben Wheatley. (Supplied)

Sadly, although Wheatley’s lavish period piece opts for a more faithful retelling of du Maurier’s novel than Hitchcock’s, the 2020 version of “Rebecca” has none of the sophistication, charm or simmering tension of its Oscar-winning predecessor. Lily James and Armie Hammer (as the supposedly suave Maxim de Winter) certainly look the part, but their blossoming relationship lacks substance and neither of their character arcs feels organic or believable. Indeed, only Kristen Scott Thomas (as the steely housekeeper Mrs Danvers) dazzles, dominating her scenes with equal parts charm and menace as she gradually reveals the depth of her fondness for Maxim’s first wife — and her disdain for his second.

A 1940 take on the book won the Academy Award for Best Picture and was recently inducted into the United States National Film Registry. (Supplied)

James lurches from waif-like innocence to purposeful would-be matriarch (and back) too quickly and too often to conjure any sense of growth as she delves into the story of what happened to Rebecca. Though Wheatley’s willingness to go darker with the story than Hitchcock is welcome, the feeble chemistry between his two lead actors makes the movie’s final third just a little too far-fetched to be immersive. This glossy retelling is, much like its two stars and setting, very handsome. However, much like its beleaguered narrator’s situation, the pressure of expectation is stifling.