Egyptian media council recommends apology from Reham Saeed over televised animal abuse

Egypt’s Complaints Committee of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) recommended on Monday that Egyptian TV presenter Reham Saeed apologize over the content of her latest episode of “Sabaya al-Kheir” show, and in return SCMR will allow the show to return to the airwaves.

SCMR suspended the show on Saturday pending investigations into the controversial episode, in which Saeed follows a group of hunters that use inhumane tactics to hunt and bind animals.

SCMR is expected to send a letter to the show’s channel stating that the investigations have concluded, and the council has no objection to resuming the show.

The committee indicated that its recommendation came after Saeed pledged to apologize to her audience in the show’s first episode after resumption, and on the condition that any issues related to the Media Syndicate be resolved.

During the episode, broadcasted on Wednesday, Saeed embarks on a trip to hunt wolves and foxes. She observes how the animals are hunted and tied together to prevent any escape.

The footage caused a wave of anger against the presenter across social media. Commentators said that the episode encouraged animal abuse as it showed foxes being treated in a brutal and inhumane manner.

Following the outrage, the Al-Nahar channel removed the episode from YouTube and issued an apology.

In a video posted on Facebook, Saeed clarified that her intention behind the episode was to shed light on hunting practices, including wrongful ones.

The show’s episode on Wednesday was the third appearance on TV as a host in about 16 months since she was suspended in August 2019 for a year over offending people who are obese or have overweight bodies during her show back then on al-Hayat satellite channel. The new edition of the show started on November 30, and for three days per week; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Saeed has been involved in several controversial incidents in past years. In 2015, she violated a woman’s privacy by sharing photos from the victim’s personal mobile phone on her show. She accused the harassed woman of dressing in “indecorous” clothes.

Furthermore, Saeed was officially expelled by the Supreme Media Council for “violating media norms” after unveiling a private conversation that took place between a woman and her lover on her show.

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