Bassem Youssef's show cancelled; People report being unable to laugh like an Egyptian
The privately owned Egyptian TV station CBC has stopped airing Baseem Youssef’s show “El-Bernameg,” or “The Program”. The political satirist, widely compared to American comedian Jon Stewart has come under fire for making fun of the ultra-nationalist, pro-military fervor gripping the country.
The station’s board of directors issued a statement saying Youssef and the producer “insist on continuing to not commit to the editorial policy” of CBC.
The show had only recently returned to the air after a four month hiatus following the removal of the Mohammed Mursi led Muslim Brotherhood government in a military coup. Youssef had made fun of Mr. Mursi in the show, galvanizing public disenchantment with the leader. As can be expected from a political satirist, upon his return, Mr. Youssef mocked the people in power – who happened to be the military leaders.
Military supporters immediately filed legal complaints against the show. CBC distanced itself from Mr. Youssef and said the station is “keen on not using phrases and innuendos that may lead to mocking national sentiment or symbols of the Egyptian state.”
The Friday night show was cancelled. However, AP reports said that people who had watched the show said it spent a large amount of time mocking CBC’s editorial policies.
Youssef has had a history of dispute with the station since the first episode, when he made fun of the station for being staffed with people loyal to then deposed President Hosni Mubarak.
What do you think? Are the Egyptians overreacting? Should Baseem Youssef’s show have been cancelled?