Egypt air denied all news reports that circulated on social media outlets that a verbal dispute occurred between cabin crew and Ahmed Fahmi, Shura Council speaker, after the latter objected to an in-flight movie that in his view contained "obscene" material during an inbound flight from the capital Khartoum.
In a press statement on Wednesday signed by EgyptAir chairperson Roshdi Zakareya, Egyptair stated that Fahmi indeed objected to the screening of an in-flight movie because it held what he deemed as a "morally inappropriate" sequence unsuitable to a "family" audience.
Fahmi objected to one scene in the film “Arees Mama” or “Mom’s Suitor” starring prominent Egyptian actress Nelly, and asked the crew to switch it off.
The statement assured that Fahmi's objection was made with complete "decency" and respect to the cabin crew, and that the movie was stopped immediately with the consent of all passengers.
The statement said that all forms of entertainment shown during flights are apolitical and are carefully chosen as not to contain sexual or violent material, and that the movie that was screened, on which Fahmi objected, are all rented from the Egyptian state-run television.
Zakareya has previously announced that the choice of in-flight movies would be re-evaluated, to ensure that they do not contain scenes that may “disturb” some passengers.
Fahmi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), was elected head of the Islamist-led Shura Council (the upper house of parliament) in February 2012.
Earlier this month, Moroccan Islamist MPs were outraged by “erotic” scenes from a film on EgyptAir on a flight from Cairo to Casablanca. Abdel Aziz Aftati, an MP from Morocco’s Islamist Justice and Development Party, told AFP that the film “consisted of long and obscene scenes, and there were women and children on board who were forced to watch such content.”
The Moroccan MPs described that the crew was at first not responsive to the complaints of several passengers, including a few Moroccan parliamentarians. Eventually they succumbed to pressure and switched off the movie, despite the protestations of a few who wanted to keep watching it.
In December, Aftati openly condemned the Moroccan film Maouchouma, or Tattooed — a film that explores the human body as a tool for self-exploration and expression — for containing intimate nude scenes. The Islamist MP released a statement saying that such films were inconsistent with religious values and morals.