Satirist Bassem Youssef's TV show suspended for 6 weeks

Saudi-owned MBC TV network said decision was “to avoid influencing” Egyptian voters during presidential elections next month

Egyptian satirist and television host Bassem Youssef. (Getty Images)

Egyptian satirist and television host Bassem Youssef. (Getty Images)

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’s television program has been suspended until the end of May, to avoid influencing voters in the presidential elections, his broadcaster MBC Masr has said.

Youssef became one of the most watched Arab TV personalities during the one-year rule of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. His weekly show Al Bernameg (The Program) made fun of Morsi and his supporters and became a hit throughout the Middle East via YouTube.

But Saudi-owned MBC Masr said it would keep Youssef off-air until after the presidential election on May 26-27 to “avoid influencing the Egyptian voters’ opinions and public opinion”, Agence France Presse reported.

The channel said in a statement it was “keen on respecting the electoral process” in Egypt.

Former army chief Abdel Fattah El Sisi, who is credited with leading the country’s drive to oust Morsi in July last year and crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, is the frontrunner to win the election but also has been targeted by Youssef’s banter, at a time when the interim regime has been arresting journalists and those who publicly comment on the country’s political situation.

Al Bernameg was previously axed by the Morsi government, which accused him of “threatening public security” and “insulting religion”.

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Posted by: Haitham

I really can't believe how coutries believe that a program like this can affect the national policy....... Sitcom is only talking and joking..... Anybody can speak what they want..... This is democracy ... I wish that we have 100 programs like Al Barnameg

Posted by: Prince of Arabia

Will MBC suspend its news propaganda machine which favors Sisi... who cares, the whole thing is a joke and sisi will win anyway... Arab work democracy is something like a sitcom.

Posted by: Dounia

hahahah from all what Al Bernameg went thru, this is the selly and funnies one.

Posted by: Khaled

First of all it's called Al Bernameg not Al Bernamed.
Secondly, I don't think there will be any influencing.
You can see already on any MBC channel or Egyptian channels many reports and reporters meetings with famous influential folks and 99% are already favoring alsisi.
Arab people are not stupid and just because someone is selling them an idea, they have to take it.
Basam Youssef is not forcing his views on anyone, and where is the so called democracy here for everyone to express his own opinion ? or democracy nowadays is confused with hypocrisy?
If anything, Bassem will at least keep things on an even keel.

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