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Sun 26 Jul 2009 11:35 AM

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Broadcaster faces boycott after Saudi man's sex boasts

Saudi man arrested for bragging about sex on TV apologises, hundreds urge LBC boycott.

The Saudi man who was arrested for bragging about his sexual conquests on a television show has apologised for his behaviour and accused Lebanese broadcaster LBC of sensationalising the interview, as hundreds of Saudi websites called for a boycott of the network.

“I apologise deeply to all of Saudi society,” Mazen Abdul Jawad told Saudi daily Okaz.

However, he added that the producers of LBC’s Red Line show had tricked him into taking part in the programme, telling him the purpose was to show young people the benefits of marriage.

The interview had been heavily edited and sensationalised, he added.

The divorced father of four also accused the show’s producer of bringing toys and other sexual aids with him and then displaying them to viewers as if they had been found in his apartment.

In the programme, Jawad said he had become interested in sex when he was 14 after sleeping with a neighbour.

He also said he used the Bluetooth function on his mobile phone to pick up Saudi women, who are forbidden from mixing with men they are not related to.

Jawad said he understood the hundreds of people who have filed a complaint against him in Jeddah’s summary court.

“They only know what they have seen. They do not know the truth behind how the channel conducted the interview with me,” he said.

“I apologise and I am ready to face the consequences [but] I am confident that the truth will come out,” he said.

If convicted of speaking openly about vice and of having pre-marital sex, Jawad could be jailed and flogged under Saudi’s strict sharia law.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Saudi websites have launched a campaign calling for a boycott of LBC, the Beirut-based broadcaster that aired the interview.

A spokesperson for the network told Saudi daily Al Watan that the last episode of the current series of Red Line had aired and that it has not yet been decided whether to renew the programme for another season.

New episodes would not be broadcast until after Ramadan, the spokesperson said.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

bewildered of dubai 11 years ago

Ho hum...same old same old story..Do whatever you want in Saudi Arabia..just don't do it in public and certainly not on T.V.

Omar Shamma 11 years ago

Apart from the mention of a call to boycott LBC this article can hardly be deemed a business article. I thought Arabian Business is just that a business publication.

Pete 11 years ago

Banning a free to air channel will not solve Saudi Arabia's society problems, what a twisted way to blame it on the TV channel...

Mohammed 10 years ago

i think such broadcast deserves DEATH SENTENCE as it was insulting the Muslim women and spreading out adultery. LBC is a pioneer in disturbing the Islamic culture through hundreds of its dirty programs.

Gordon 10 years ago

to Mohammed and now you know why some people call it extremism. If someone who commits a crime, then he is punishable by law, and if the law is jail and flogging, then so be it. Statements such as yours which attempt to ignore due legal process are in itself illegal and are an insult to society. (not sure if this will get printed)

K 10 years ago

Thank you Mohammed for embarrasing us yet again. I as a Muslim woman agree that the interview was insulting but to make such comments only serves to embarrass us further. I understand you may be passionate about this matter but moderation and thinking about the consequences of our behaviour, thoughts and language will serve us all far better. Perhaps the host and production managers might like to keep this in mind also?

Omar 10 years ago

Instead of restricting TV channels, the Saudi authorities should scrutinize the social status of Saudi Arabia. They do not dare doing so so they go superficial.

Louie Tedesco 10 years ago

Good grief - to have a man put to death without due process because of what he said on television? What year are we living in - the dark middle ages where torture and burning at the stake was common?

Doug 10 years ago

And then people in this part of the world get upset when Westerners wrongly accuse Muslims of being violent...once again, the minority of idiots ruin it for the majority of ordinary, decent people. I am not disputing that what this man did was wrong and offensive (and from what I have heard, some of the things said in the interview would have been considered offensive even in the more liberal West), but the idea that someone should have their head sliced off from their body for saying something is, as Louie says, something that belongs to an age the rest of the world long ago left behind. The worst part is I am willing to bet some of the things this man said are not massively different from the experiences of those complaining about him - the only difference being they don't openly admit it. Hypocrites, the lot of them.

EXPAT IN KUWAIT 10 years ago

The jury is still out on this one. How does the expat get his passport from his old sponsor ? How does he get his indemnities ? Details but important oes. Let's wait and see what the expats sat.