The Abbasiya Mental Health Hospital issued Wednesday an urgent statement slamming the “Ramez Magnoon Rasmy” (Ramez Is Officially Crazy) prank show broadcast on MBC satellite channels throughout Ramadan.
The premise of the program involves placing the guest on the “chair of confession” and asking them a number of questions. The guest is asked their opinion by three personalities, including Galal, after which Galal — accompanied by frightening sound effects — reveals himself.
In its statement the hospital said that “We followed actor Ramez Galal’s program ‘Ramez Magnoon Rasmy’, which is presented daily on a private satellite channel, and we found that the program carries a lot of violence, torture, ridicule and disrespect to the guests, delights in the pain it causes others and the practice of bullying them, amid the laughter of the presenter of the program, in contravention of humanity and how people should deal with each other.”
It accused the show of showing contempt for human values, promoting “pathological behaviors”, and reveling in the torture and degradation of others.
Even the title alone is cause for complaint, with the hospital stating it offends those with mental-illness by calling them “crazy” and contributes to increasing the stigma against mental-illnesses that the state is working to eliminate, according to the Patient Psychological Care Law No. 71 of 2009.
The hospital views Galal’s show as an “an imminent threat to the mental health of the Egyptian citizens and viewers of the program, young and old.”
The show further poses a particular risk to young children, as they tend to learn through imitation rather than orders. Therefore children in elementary and preparatory stages, who lack abstract thinking, will miss any hidden meanings and imitate what they see is going on.
“The show represents a grave danger to children if they imitate this aggressive behavior, torture and violence,” the hospital statement warned.
Galal had filed a lawsuit earlier in May against Chairperson of the Egyptian Media Syndicate Tariq Saada to annul Saada’s recent decision to suspend Galal’s prank program.
In the lawsuit, which was filed in the State Council Administrative Court, Galal’s lawyer Ashraf Hussein Abdelaziz said that Galal heard of the suspension decision via the media, and not a legal notification.
The President of the Zamalek Sporting Club, member of Egypt’s House of Representatives and lawyer Mortada Mansour filed a lawsuit with the Public Prosecution office’s late April against Ramez Galal and his latest prank show, demanding the program be suspended.
In his lawsuit Mansour stated that the show features gross acts of criminal violence that violate public morals and are harmful to Egyptian citizens.
Galal has been presenting prank shows every Ramadan for more than seven years, and has earned wide popularity for putting his guests in risky situations. His guests often include prominent celebrities and public figures.
His pranks have been heavily criticized, however, for being dangerous and for violating his guests’ privacy. Viewers have also complained about the insults contained in the show.
Regardless, millions of Egyptians enthusiastically await his show during the Iftar hour when they break their fast.