Egyptian actor Ramez Galal files lawsuit against suspension of his prank program

Egyptian actor Ramez Galal filed a lawsuit against Chairperson of the Egyptian Media Syndicate Tariq Saada to annul Saada’s recent decision to suspend Galal’s prank program, which was scheduled to be broadcast on the satellite TV channel MBC Masr throughout Ramadan.

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 syndicate’s decision said Galal was prevented from practicing any media-related activity until his legal status with the syndicate is adjusted, in accordance with the syndicate’s law.

The lawsuit argues that the decision violated the law.

Galal is member of the Syndicate of Artists, not the Media Syndicate, the lawyer said.

Entertainment works like Galal’s prank show are not a media activity and do not fall under the control of the Media Syndicate, in accordance with Law No. 93 of 2016 regarding media personnel.

The lawsuit also said that the contentious program was recorded and produced outside Egypt, in the UAE, in accordance with the UAE law, which means that it is not covered by the Media Syndicate law in Egypt.

The text of Article One of the Media Syndicate Law states that: “Media activity is every activity that broadcasts news, information, ideas, opinions or facts from their source through audio and visual means with the intention of informing the public. Dramatic, cinematic, television and theatrical works as well as entertainment works are not considered a media activity.”

None of the program’s guests filed any complaints against the program or expressed that it harmed them, the lawyer said, describing the decision as a misuse of power and violating the law.

Saada banned Galal from appearing through any media outlet in Egypt until his legal status is adjusted.

A source with MBC Group commented on the Media Syndicate’s decision, saying it applied to media outlets broadcast from Egypt and does not apply to the MBC channel group, which are non-Egyptian channels broadcast from the UAE.

The program is produced by a company registered under the UAE law and was recorded in Dubai, said the sources.

It has record views on all the platforms and channels where it is presented, including MBC Masr, MBC1, MBC Iraq, and MBC5 Morocco — all of which are broadcast from the UAE via various satellites — as well as the “Shahid” platform.

According to the source, prank programs enjoy great popularity globally.

As in every season, the first two episodes of Galal’s show racked up millions of views and interactions, and the number of views of the program’s promotional advertisement on the internet has exceeded 34 million views so far, the source added.

The same source stressed that the program’s episodes are broadcast only after obtaining the approval of guests.

On Monday, 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 against Galal and his “Ramez Magnoon Rasmy” 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.

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