LONDON: A popular Lebanese TV show has come under fire for another incident of offensive behavior.
“Indian, I’m not sure — but British-Indian…” the latest guest on the consistently criticized MTV Lebanon show “3a Gheir Kawkab” (On Another Planet) explained, before shaking her head — mocking the traditional Indian nod — and in a stereotypical Indian accent, said: “Madame you’re very beautiful.”
The show’s presenter — Pierre Rabbat — and other hosts broke into laughter as the paid crowd roared in applause. By contrast, social media exploded with anger at the blatant racist mockery the variety show was presenting.
“The group from ‘3a Gheir Kawkab’ have made the program out of this planet to utter all kinds of pettiness, absurdity, humiliation, disgust, and whatever you want,” said Twitter user Leila Ghotaimi.
مجموعة من غير كوكب عاملين برنامج ع غير كوكب للتفوه بشتى أنواع التفاهة والسخافة والحقارة والقرف وشو ما بدك، وآخر شي بيعتبروا نفسهم متحررين وأصحاب فكر ومثقفين والناس عم تفهم عليهن غلط
— Laila Ghoteimi (@GhoteimiLaila) March 28, 2021
Brigitte K. Mountain tweeted: “Morons! And such a grotesque disconnect from what’s happening in the country.”
Morons! And such a grotesque disconnect from what’s happening in the country
— Brigitte K. Mountain (@Brigitte_khair) March 29, 2021
This is now the state of Lebanese television — once a media pioneer of the region that attracted talent from all over — but now a symbol of the country’s dwindling standards.
Lebanon has been facing multiple crises since the start of last year. It has endured national demonstrations protesting flagrant corruption and collapsing standards of living, alongside a political standstill that sees its politicians bickering among one another while the Lebanese pound continues to freefall.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has catalyzed economic downfall, as well as the Beirut port blast that leveled half the capital and killed over 200 people, shaking citizens and residents to their core.
Many would hope that the show would focus on more pressing issues at hand — or at least resort to smarter comedy, as opposed to mocking other nationalities.
Earlier this month, Rabbat and his cohorts of hosts were similarly lambasted for the way they treated one of their guests, psychosexologist Dr. Sandrine Atallah.
A flurry of misogynistic and sexist comments and questions led Rabbat to tweet an apology for his behavior, only for Atallah to reject it, with the journalist soon deleting his tweet.
Apologies received but not accepted. You could have:
1-checked your facts instead of sharing fake news about my videos & my previous show
2-silenced your anchors instead of encouraging them by saying I was seductive
3-given me a space to express myself instead of interrupting me
— Sandrine Atallah MD (@DrSAtallah) March 10, 2021