Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Egyptian presenter Reham Saeed banned from broadcasting for one year following 'fat shaming' scandal

The TV host has been suspended after describing overweight people as 'dead' and 'a burden on their families'

Reham Saeed's controversial comments have not been well received. YouTube / AlHayah TV Network
Reham Saeed's controversial comments have not been well received. YouTube / AlHayah TV Network

Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation has banned Reham Saeed from broadcasting for one year, after she "insulted" and "fat shamed" overweight women on her talk show, Sabaya with Reham Saeed.

During a televised segment, the outspoken host said: "Obese people are dead, they are a burden and they are a burden on their families."

Rihan Saeed committed a media crime by insulting Egyptian women, mixing her personal opinion and her media duty

Supreme Council for Media Regulation

Of overweight women in particular, she added: "You have lost all your femininity, you have lost your smile, you have lost everything."

The council implemented the ban following a complaint from the country's National Council for Women (NCW).

The restriction means that Saeed "must not appear on any media platform including print media and electronic media".

In a statement issued by the complaints committee, which investigated the NCW's objection, it was decided that Saeed had “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 adds that that Saeed lacked "a sense of media and humanitarianism", listing a number of violations, including "confusing between obese patients and owners of fat bodies" and "causing frustration for patients and the dissatisfaction of viewers due to the use of phrases and descriptions that insult Egyptian woman"

It also describes her as "inconsistent", explaining that during the investigation session "she sometimes apologised, while at other times she confirms she was not mistaken, which means she is unable to distinguish between the clear media rules and personal opinions, and between advice and insult".

Since the ban has been put into place, Saeed has continued to use her social media, posting regularly on Instagram.

Watch the Sabaya with Reham Saeed segment that landed Saeed in hot water here:

Backlash from fellow Egyptian celebrities

Following the airing of Saeed's comments, Egyptian actress Engy Wegdan, who describes herself as overweight, hit back at the presenter on social media.

"I have been athletic all my life, and I have put on weight. That’s normal, it happens, and I have also been heavier in the past, that’s also normal," she said in a video which she posted to both YouTube and Instagram.

"I got married, and by the way my husband is thin and not fat," she continued. "Weight does not matter for either of us. And I know many thin people getting married to obese people. Looks do not count. Weight does not count."

She concluded her video message by saying, "You could have sent a much better message to people".

Updated: September 1, 2019 05:54 PM

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