Screenshot from the Sabaya program’s episode during which Reham Saeed insulted overweight people
CAIRO – 28 August 2019: The Supreme Council for Media Regulation, headed by Makram Mohamed Ahmed, on Wednesday issued a decree banning controversial TV presenter Riham Saeed from appearing in media for a year over "insulting" some sectors of Egyptian women.
Saeed earlier humiliated overweight people in her talk show “Sabaya” on Al-Hayah TV, saying “fat people are dead. They are burdens to their families, burdens to the state. Fat people causes eyesore.”
The decision of the council was issued based on a complaint filed by the state’s National Council for Women against the renowned presenter. Saeed, accordingly, must not appear on any media platform including print media and electronic media.
The complaints committee that investigated the NCW’s complaint said it has viewed also social media users’ opinion and the comments of humanitarian organizations and opinion writers.
Saeed, according to a statement by the committee “committed a media crime by insulting Egyptian women, mixed between her personal opinion and her media duty, and violated the professional standards by using expressions, words and descriptions that represent a clear and explicit insult, in general, to Egyptian women.”
The statement added that Saeed also “lacks a sense of media and humanitarianism where the following violations were committed:”
- She confused between obese patients and owners of fat bodies (overweight people).
- She caused frustration for the patients and the dissatisfaction of the viewers due to the use of phrases and descriptions that represent big implicit and explicit insults to the Egyptian woman.
- Her remarks during the investigation session were inconsistent; she sometimes apologized, while at other times she confirms she was not mistaken, which means she is unable to distinguish between the clear media rules and the “cheap” personal opinions, and between advice and insult.
Saeed was suspended by the Egyptian Media Syndicate on Saturday over her remarks.
On her official social media platforms, Saeed announced that she quitted her profession as a TV anchor and actress, saying that she was countered by a systematic campaign on social media.
In February 2018, Saeed was jailed over charges of inciting child abduction and selling through her TV show, Sabaya el-Kheir, aired by the privately owned channel Al Nahar. In October 2015, Saeed’s show, Sabaya el-Kheir, faced suspension and she was investigated for using private pictures for a sexual harassment victim and airing it in her show.