EgyptAir re-evaluates in-flight 'indecent' movie scenes

Ahram Online, Thursday 24 Jan 2013

Shura Council Speaker Ahmed Fahmi was angered by what he deemed an 'obscene' sequence in a film shown on a flight from Sudan

Egypt Air

Following a similar complaint earlier this month by Moroccan Islamist MPs, EgyptAir has decided to review the films it screens on its flights after Shura Council Speaker Ahmed Fahmi was infuriated by what he deemed an 'obscene' sequence in an in-flight movie.

EgyptAir president Roshdy Zakareya confirmed that all forms of entertainment shown during flights would be re-evaluated, to ensure that they do not contain scenes that may “disturb” some passengers.

On an inbound flight from Khartoum, Fahmi objected to one scene in the film “Arees Mama” or “Mom’s Suitor” starring Egyptian actress Nelly, and asked the crew to switch it off.

Zakareya said Fahmi condemned the scene as “conflicting with morals,” deeming it insulting to “public decency.” The crew leader stopped the film upon Fahmi's request. No other passenger objected.

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.

Zakareya explained that a designated committee typically picks films to be screened on flights and that they are rented from Sawt Al-Kahera (Voice of Cairo) for audio-visual materials. All chosen films have received censorship committee approval.

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, Atari 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.

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