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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Ramez Galal under Fire over Prank Show “Ramez Majnoun Rasmi”

Tue 28 Apr 2020 | 03:15 PM
Yara Sameh

It has not been a week since Ramadan has begun, and Egyptian actor and prankster, Ramez Galal is receiving a heavy backlash over his new prank show, “Ramez Majnoun Rasmi” (Ramez is officially insane).

Galal hosted a prank show every Ramadan over the past seven years, which is popular between the youngsters, pre-teens, and half the population of the Arab world.

The shows are held under a different theme and name every year, which always scared the jeepers out of his celebrity guests’, letting them believe that they have been kidnapped by extremists, or trapped inside the elevator with a lion in front of them.

Every year, the show is always leaving the viewers’ contemplating whether Galal has gone too far, as he adds the level a notch as if to tell his critics that he would not stop, as he cannot let his loyal viewers down.

However, this year, it might take a different turn. "Ramez Majnoon Rasmi" program, which is screened on a several MBC owned channels, topped the viewership rates since the first days of its premiere, where it ranked first in the audience size viewership across different platforms in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, and Qatar.

It also ranked third in the UAE, Algeria, and fourth in Morocco among the programs and series screened in Ramadan.

He has a fair share of admirers posting hearts and thumbs-ups, but just as many people, officials, and public figures criticize it and find it tasteless.

This year, the prank show features the guests being strapped into a confession chair and asked a series of questions as well as subjected to humiliating situations that border on torture.

The show is popular among its audiences due to the viewers' wish to watch celebrities in a position their most vulnerable position, to see how they would react in certain circumstances, as a way of shattering the belief that famous people are untouchable, perhaps?

The first episode of the new season featured Egyptian actress Ghada Adel, who appears to believe she is on a talk show hosted by Yemeni singer and television host, Arwa.

The viewers watched Adel as she arrives at the location and agrees to be strapped to the “confession chair”, which she is told will determine whether she is telling the truth or not.

The scenes are narrated with Galal’s snarky commentary from behind-the-scenes.

Then, Adel is presented with a series of celebrity pictures, including Egyptian stars Amir Karara and Yasmine Sabri, and is asked what she thinks of them, the last picture is of Galal, which features him looking "spooky" and "creepy”, while Adel collects her thoughts about him, he breaks out of the picture with a bull horn.

That is when things take an ugly turn as he starts spraying Adel’s hair and faces with spray paint, which is followed by the confession chair turning into a rollercoaster and sends her flying around the set.

Galal then placed her in a tank full of crabs, throws snakes at her, and makes her sing "Ramez Galal is a YouTube star", threatening her to do his binding as if she were his hostage.

The entire affair is uncomfortable and unforgivably cringeworthy to watch, between his taunts and glee at playing the role of a torturer, Galal reveals that he will not back down.

Has Ramez Galal crossed the line?

Egypt’s Supreme Council of Media Regulations will hold an emergency meeting to discuss "Ramez Mahnoon Rasmy" prank show violations on Monday.

Muhammad Al-Omari, Undersecretary of the Supreme Council for Media Regulations, announced that the meeting will address the complaint of the Abbasia Mental Hospital in Egypt regarding the program.

The hospital issued a lengthy-statement condemning Galal’s prank show, demanding its suspension for promotes narcissism, bullying, and sadism.

The hospital statement comes amid an ongoing backlash on social media against the show, as many viewers are calling for the suspension of the show, which is something that has happened in previous seasons.

Moreover, MP Usama Sharshar, a member of the Parliament's Media Committee called for the suspension of the program and fining it according to the rules of the Supreme Media Council, from EGP 500 to EGP 1 million, due to the program include distasteful or insulting comments that offensive is to public feeling.

Sharshar stressed in a press statement that the program affects children's behavior due to the violence, torture, and sadistic scenes it contains, which incites children to engage in these acts.

He warned against laxity with the content of the program and its continuing display, as it is screened worldwide and has the highest-rated viewing and ratings, which makes it more influential in the behavior of children and youth.