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Egypt: Lawsuit filed against TV series for allegedly offending president

21 August 2017

A lawyer filed a lawsuit against TV series ‘La Tofte’ El Shams’ (Don’t Let the Sun Set) for allegedly offending Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Lawyer Samir Sabry filed a lawsuit to Egypt’s general prosecutor against TV series ‘La Tofte’ El Shams’ (Don’t Let the Sun Set) for allegedly offending the country’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, reported Egyptian Streets on 11 June 2017.

The lawyer referred to an episode that briefly featured a piece of graffiti written on a wall in the background of a scene stating, “Sisi the traitor”.

Sabry further claimed that actor Ahmed Malek was deliberately cast in the scene as the up-and-coming actor had previously “insulted the police” in a prank in 2016 during the fifth anniversary of the 25 January revolution. The prank involved the actor distributing inflated condoms to the police who were securing Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the revolution, reported Al Araby on 12 June 2017.

Screenshots of the controversial scene from the 14th episode of the series went viral on social media, eliciting various reactions, prompting the production company to issue an apology for the “unintended mistake”.

CBC, the channel that aired the show, briefly removed the episode from its YouTube channel and put it back up after cutting out the entire scene featuring the graffiti.


Controversy over themes
The series, which aired during the holy month of Ramadan, is based on a 1960 novel by Ihsan Abdel Quddous that is considered to be one of the country’s most popular literary works. The two-part novel explores the struggles of the youth at the time and the contradictions between them and older generations, explained Daily News Egypt.

A year later, in 1961, director Salah Abo Seif turned the novel into a movie to highlight the political and social transformations in Egyptian society after the 23 July Revolution in 1952.

Well-known script writer Tamer Habib announced his intentions to turn the novel into the new TV series as a modern version, which was met with criticism on social media since its first screening for portraying betrayal, random sexual relationships as normal and the inclusion of bars in many scenes.


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