Last Update 21:59
Monday, 21 October 2019

Ahram Advertising Agency 'clarifies the facts' around Drew Barrymore's Horus interview controversy

'We stress that we hold the highest esteem for the actress Drew Barrymore and we are aware of how successful she is and how many admirers she has around the world,' the agency said in a statement

Ahram Online, Tuesday 9 Oct 2018
Drew Barrymore
File Photo: In this Oct. 20, 2015, photo, Drew Barrymore poses for a portrait to promote her book "Wildflower," in New York. (Photo: AP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 3980
Share/Bookmark
Views: 3980

Al-Ahram Advertising agency issued a statement on Monday aiming to clarify the circumstances around the recent controversy triggered by the publishing of an interview with Hollywood star Drew Barrymore in the October isssue of Horus, the in-flight magazine of Egypt’s national carrier EgyptAir.

Al-Ahram Advertising Agency said in the statement that as the party “which is responsible for editing, printing and publicity” for Horus it wanted to present “the facts … regarding the rumours that the interview did not take place and that it was fabricated.”

The interview was a shorter version of an original interview with the actresss conducted by well-known Egyptian journalist Aida Takla, and first published in August in Nisf Al-Dunya, an Arabic language women’s weekly published by Al-Ahram Establishment.

The Horus version of the interview, which was in English, went viral last week after a traveller tweeted pictures of some of the quotes, and social media users commented on the way the piece had quoted and described the American actress.

In the statement, which was signed by Horus’s editor in chief Amal Fawzy and Al-Ahram Advertising Agency’s general director Hassan Abdel-Monsef, the agency said that the interview was “was submitted to us by Dr. Aida Takla, our correspondent in Hollywood who is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the elected president of the HFPA four times in the past, and a voting member for the Golden Globe Awards.”

The statement then explained that Takla “has affirmed, on her personal Twitter account, that she corresponds for both Horus magazine and Nisf Al-Dunya magazine and that she conducted the interview during a meeting between HFPA members and the actress Drew Barrymore.”

“HFPA has confirmed this in the statement it released which affirms that the members of HFPA met with the star several times,” the statement said.

Following the controversy after the publication of the Horus version of the interview, representatives for Barrymore informed Takla by phone that the actress had not conducted an interview with Horus, the statement read, without realising that HFPA member Takla corresponds for Horus magazine, along with other publications.

The agency said that since Arabic is the primary language for reporting to Horus, all interviews conducted in foreign languages and submitted to the magazine are translated into Arabic first.

“This is also necessary because our organisation is an Egyptian institution, as is the national carrier [EgyptAir],” the statement read.

The agency then accounted for the difference in the number of words between the Nusf Al-Dunya version and the Horus version.

The agency said that since interviews submitted by Takla are usually done at length, so “for purposes of convenience, the translator, who is responsible for writing the Arabic version of the text, shortens the piece in accordance with space available for it in the magazine.”

The agency then responded to accusations that the interviewer had formulated a lead to the interview that some found disrespectful and insulting to Barrymore.

“With regard to the questions surrounding the lead, this was not written by the author of the interview,” the statement explained.

“It is a common practice that, in the event there is no lead from the author of an interview, the editor or translator in charge writes one in a manner that he believes will entice people into reading the article.

“As is generally accepted, the lead is not part of the text of the article. It is a product of the editor’s creativity produced on the condition that it contains no information that is contrary to the truth.

To clarify to readers not familiar with methods of correspondence between intra-governmental agencies in Egypt, the statement said that “Arabic is the language of communication between Egyptian government agencies and the Arabic text is shown to EgyptAir solely to ensure that the published material does not conflict with the company’s current regulations.

The text of the magazine is then translated into English by another translator who engaged with us to ensure that the translated version conforms to the Arabic text. The translator is responsible solely for the accuracy of the translation to English.”

”We are about to investigate this by checking thoroughly the source material that the translator depended on to write the interview.

“We stress that we hold the highest esteem for the actress Drew Barrymore and we are aware of how successful she is and how many admirers she has around the world. We apologise for any misunderstanding that might be interpreted as an offence to the great artist.”

Takla explained in a tweet last week that “we interviewed [Barrymore] several times, I saw her grow up before my eyes she is charming and talented."

On Monday, EgyptAir issued a brief statement, saying that “as most international and regional airlines deal with advertising agencies for their inflight publications, EgyptAir has signed an agreement with Al-Ahram Advertising Agency - one of the editing, publishing & advertising agencies in Egypt – to edit and publish various news, articles, ads, interviews and stories in its in-flight magazine Horus.”

Barrymore, 43, is an accomplished American actress, producer, director, author, model and entrepreneur. She first achieved fame as a child actress with her role in the classic film ET (1982).

During her career she has won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and been nominated for a BAFTA.

----------

Full Text of Statement of Ahram Advertising Agency

In reference to the circumstances surrounding the publication of the article on the actress Drew Barrymore and the rumors that the interview did not take place and that it was fabricated, we, the Ahram Advertising Agency, which is responsible for editing, printing and publicity, present the following facts:

First, the interview was submitted to us by Dr. Aida Takla, our correspondent in Hollywood who is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) ), the elected president of the HFPA four times in the past, and a voting member for the Golden Globe Awards.

She has affirmed, on her personal Twitter account, that she corresponds for both Horus magazine and Nisf al-Dunya magazine and that she conducted the interview during a meeting between HFPA members and the actress Drew Barrymore. HFPA has confirmed this in the statement it released which affirms that the members of HFPA met with the star several times.

Secondly, in a telephone communication with Dr. Aida Takla, the representative for Drew Barrymore, mentioned that: ‘Drew Barrymore did not have an interview with EGYPTAIR magazine – Horus”, not knowing that HFPA member Dr. Aida Takla corresponds with Horus magazine, along with other publications.

Thirdly, generally, interviews submitted by Dr. Aida contain a large number of pages and words. For purposes of convenience, the translator who is responsible for writing the Arabic version of the text shortens the piece in accordance with the space available for it in the magazine in which it is to be published.

Fourthly, with regard to the questions surrounding the lead, this was not written by the author of the interview. It is a common practice that, in the event there is no lead from the author of an interview, the editor or translator in charge writes one in a manner that he believes will entice people into reading to the article.

As is generally accepted, the lead is not part of the text of the article. It is a product of the editor’s creativity produced on the condition that it contains no information that is contrary to the truth.

We are about to investigate this by checking thoroughly the source-material that the translator depended on to write the interview.

Fifthly, Arabic is the primary language for reporting. As some interviews from correspondents are submitted in foreign languages, such as French and German, as well as English, all material submitted to the magazine is translated into Arabic first.

This is also necessary because our organization is an Egyptian institution, as is the case with the national carrier. Arabic is the language of communication between Egyptian government agencies and the Arabic text is shown to EGYPTAIR solely to ensure that the published material does not conflict with the company’s current regulations.

The text of the magazine is then translated into English by another translator who engaged with us to ensure that the translated version conforms to the Arabic text. The translator is responsible solely for the accuracy of the translation to English.

 Finally, we stress that we hold the highest esteem for the actress Drew Barrymore and we are aware of how successful she is and how many admirers she has around the world. We apologize for any misunderstanding that might be interpreted as an offence to the great artist.

Sincerely, Amal Fawzy, Editor-in-Chief, Horus; Hassan Abdel Monsef General Director, Ahram Advertising Agency Cairo.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.