Arab Big Brother unplugged

An Arab television channel says it is temporarily pulling the plug on its Arabic version of the hit reality show Big Brother after accusations of indecency.

    Bahrainis demonstrated against the show, deeming it ''un-Islamic''

    But an official of the MBC satellite channel said on Monday it would re-launch the show from outside Bahrain, where it was produced.

    Protesters in the conservative Gulf Arab state had said showing unmarried people living together offended Islam.

    "There are many (locations) where it could be produced. We are looking at possible schedules," said the official. 

    "This decision aims to avoid exposing MBC and its programmes to accusations that it offends Arab values, customs and morals, because we consider MBC to be first and foremost a channel that belongs to the Arab world," the popular Saudi-owned channel said in a statement.

    Several hundred Islamists chanting "Stop Sin Brother! No to indecency!" protested in Bahrain on Friday against the show, which they deemed un-Islamic.

    Morals dented?

    Some members of Bahrain's parliament demanded to question Information Minister Nabil al-Hamr about Big Brother.

    "We are an Islamic country with our own traditions. This programme spoils the morals of our sons," said MP Jasim al-Saidi.

    The Big Brother formula, in which participants are filmed 24 hours a day, has been copied around the world and draws large audiences.
     
    The programme, aired across the Arab world by MBC, had raised eyebrows despite efforts to take into account Muslim sensitivities. Separate living and sleeping quarters for male and female participants were introduced, as well as a prayer room.
     
    The Arab world's first reality TV experiment, called ala al-Hawa Sawa (On Air Together), survived its three-month stint, ending earlier on Monday. It paraded women before suitors in a luxury apartment for 24 hours a day. It was aired from less conservative Lebanon.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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