Bassem Youssef’s highly popular show, El-Bernameg, did not air on Friday as scheduled. CBC’s Khairy Ramadan explained on his show, which usually precedes Youssef’s, that they would continue to focus on live events.
Ramadan denied news previously reported by AlMasry AlYoum that he had prolonged his own show to prevent El-Bernameg from airing. Speculation is rife that the show may have been cancelled, as Youssef tweeted he received no notice.
The show used to air on ONTV but has since moved to CBC, a channel considered by many to be affiliated with the previous regime (feloul). Youssef explained the move in the first episode of the new season by half-joking that the move was motivated by money.
Youssef has previously been in hot water for poking fun at some of CBC’s foremost hosts and some of Egypt’s best-known public figures such as Emad Adeeb and Lamis El Hadidi. The first episode described the channel as being feloul and pointed out what Youssef considered as inconsistencies in Adeeb and El Hadidi’s coverage, prompting legal action from Emad Adeeb who said it amounted to slander.
“When I knew his show was coming to CBC, I was very excited and I was happy that there would be a breath of fresh air on the channel, because most of our programs are serious and can be a bit dry. I wanted to welcome him, though I had never met him and still have not so there is nothing personal between us,” Emad Adeeb told The Daily News Egypt.
“This was until I finally saw the episode, when I was shocked to see that he made fun of the network, its owner, its hosts and said that the reason he came was money and that CBC has some of the worst examples in journalism. This is not political satire, this is slander and has nothing to do with freedom of expression; it exists everywhere,” he said.
Adeeb added that Youssef had only done 100 episodes, “with all due respect, 100 episodes do not entitle him to know the difference between satire and slander.”
Adeeb has filed a lawsuit against Bassem Youssef and says the deciding factor will be judicial review, “in defence of my dignity and that of my colleagues, and because he makes it look as if I were a liar, I am resorting to the judiciary. This is not personal, in Kuwait they make fun of me and I readily accept it but Youssef is crossing the line.”
Adeeb’s lawyer, Mortada Mansour, said that he went through the transcript of the episode to determine what was slander and what was not, “we went through it and we will present it to the appropriate authorities but ultimately we rely on the law.”
Youssef has not made any statement on the matter, but did comment on his show’s cancellation through his Twitter account, “the episode was cancelled without any notice, I am very upset” and added sarcastically that CBC was “the sponsor of democracy and freedom of expression in the world.”
Adeeb said that many people have supported him in his decision, “Adel Hamouda has announced his support and ultimately the judiciary will decide whether or not it is slander. If it is not, I will apologise myself.”
Youssef added over his Twitter account that, “the episode will be aired as soon as possible.”
The Daily News Egypt contacted CBC but the network refused to comment.
By Omar El Adl