After weeks of social outcry, Iraq's Communications and Media Commission has finally decided to take a TV prank show off air, one that has staged kidnapping of celebrities as though they fell hostage by ISIS.
دائما نكول اكو فرق بين الشهرة و الشهيرة— علي المدني - Ali Almadany (@82alialmadany) April 22, 2021
بوية ترة شهرتونا بسوالفكم التعبانة #طنب_رسلان انت جاي تضحك العالم لو تضحك الناس علينا ؟
بوية الشرفاء اوقفوا البرنامج لخاطر زيارة البابا
لخاطر كل نبي مرسل
لخاطر صورتنا امام المجتمعات#اوقفوا_الاساءة_للعراقيين pic.twitter.com/hD9UDRHWRw
Translation: "We always say that there is a difference between achieving fame and going viral. We've gone viral because of an invaluable story. Is this show meant to make us laugh or make the world laugh at us? Please stop the show."
The show "Tonb Areslan" has triggered several controversies since it started airing on Asia Network Television this Ramadan, mainly because it is a prank show that fakes ISIS-inspired kidnappings of well-known figures in Iraq.
Not only did social media users attack the show because it triggers traumas amongst ISIS survivors and families of victims, but also because it has been believed to whitewash the role of the pro-Iran militia, Popular Mobilization Forces, also known as Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi, since it portrays its fighters as the ones who defeated ISIS over the last several years.
#Iraq : 2 controversial tv prank shows for Ramadan taken off air for breaching broadcast regulations- Tony’s Bullet & Raslan’s Shooting terrorised guests-celebrities & others-with fake shootings, #Isis kidnaps & suicide bombs before big reveal #طنب_رسلان #طلقة_توني #ٱلْعِرَاق pic.twitter.com/VlY9i0nJGH— sebastian usher (@sebusher) May 3, 2021
رغم اني ضد المحتوى الذي يقدم في برنامج #طنب_رسلان و #طلقة_توني إلا انني ضد إيقافهما ، الحرية في الأعلام مطلوبة حتى وان كانت البرامج التي تقدم فيها سخيفة— Noor 🇬🇧&🇮🇶 (@Noor_khaton) May 4, 2021
وإلا فسنرى في الأيام القادمة تقييد كامل للحريات في الأعلام العراقي..
Translation: "Even though I am totally against the content of these prank shows, I am also against stoping them. We need freedom of the press even in the most ridiculous shows. Otherwise, we'll witness a fully censored media scene in Iraq."
Online, people posted snippets from several episodes in which singers, football players, and many other celebrities were terrorized by what appeared to be ISIS militants. Gunfires were heard repeatedly and victims of the prank were often blindfolded and forced to wear fake suicide bombing suits.
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