44% Egyptians welcome suspension of Bassem Youssef’s show: poll

The Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research, otherwise known as Baseera, has announced polling results which suggest that 44 percent of Egyptians support the suspension of Bassem Youssef's popular CBC satire show, El-Bernameg.

However, 48 percent of poll participants criticized the show's closure, according to the report.

Baseera conducted the poll four days after the first episode of the new program’s season, broadcasted on 25 October 2013 it was the first El-Bernameg to be aired since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsy.

The first episode sparked a wave of controversy amongst politicians, celebrities and viewers. Fierce condemnation rained in from supporters of army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Many called in to demand the show be stopped, claiming that Youssef harshly criticized the army. Many also criticized his "impolite" language, adding it is unacceptable on a TV show.

A statement by CBC on the Saturday after the show acknowledged complaints and distanced itself from the content of Youssef's satire. Days later, it was announced the show would not be continuing its run.

The Baseera poll found that amongst those supporting the show's closure, at least 53 percent were aged 50 and above. Only 37 percent were between 18 and 29 years old.

Education demonstrably played a role in the polling results, with only 38 percent of those supporting Youssef's fall from grace having been educated to university level.

More than one third of poll respondents emphasized that they like the programme, while 13 percent said they liked the programme but not the new episode. Fifty-two percent of participants said they disliked Bassem Youssef's El-Bernameg. “Because it makes fun of people, [uses] sexual innuendos, bad language and humiliates the country’s idols,” participants stressed when asked for their reasons for disliking the show.

In April 2013, Baseera made a similar poll, which found that 40 percent of respondents demanded the show’s suspension.

Last Friday, Egyptians waited with bated breath for the new episode of El-Bernameg. CBC then released a statement stating that the show had not followed the network's editorial policy and – due to technical problems – would be suspended permanently.

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