Massive controversy has dominated Egyptian media following a TV show broadcast that showed a female anchor sniffing cocaine on-air and giving feedback on it.
The female anchor Shimaa Gamal, host of ‘El Moshgba’ [translated into indocile] talk show, appeared in a recent episode on the privately-run TV channel ‘LTC’, stating that she would sniff cocaine.
The statement was part of her episode that discussed and investigated sources of cocaine and other drugs in Egypt. While hosting the episode she said suddenly that she would sniff cocaine, after a viewer asked her to.
“What will happen if I were to experience sniffing the cocaine? One of the viewers have asked me to do this,” she said in the video footage, circulated through social media.
During the episode she showed a white powder and put it on her hands, revealing that it was a cocaine and then proceeded to sniff and then taste the substance she claimed to be cocaine.
The scenes of the female anchor, in which she appears try try cocaine, triggered anger among social media users, who considered it inappropriate content to be aired on TV.
In an official response from a state authorities on the incident, the head of the National Media Regulatory Council Makram Mohamed Ahmed said that the council has decided to suspend any media activity from Gamal for one week.
He considered what happened as a clear violation of the rules for media practice in Egypt, adding that any similar practice will result in penalties imposed by the council.
Gamal responded to the onslaught of social media attacks in a phone interview on a different talk show, broadcasted through the same channel ‘LTC’.
She assured viewers that the white substance she showed was sugar and that she was trying to depict how cinema and TV series show drug addicts; moreover, she noted that the attacks against her were not justified.