Satirist blames ‘media atmosphere,’ says he will not seek a new host channel
By Ahmed Mansour
Bassem Youssef, host of a political satirical show, announced on Monday that his show Al-Bernameg has again been cancelled, and this time would not be returning on any other channel.
In a press conference at the program’s studio, Bassem stated that the privately owned Saudi channel MBC Masr has gone through a lot to keep his show on the air, but he decided that he doesn’t want to air the show on MBC or any other channel due to the current “media atmosphere.”
Bassem did not give too much information about who cancelled the show or why; when asked to elaborate, the satirist answered, “I cannot tell you” — quoting President-elect Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi’s oft-repeated answer during his interview with Lamees Al-Hadidi and Ibrahim Eissa on CBC satellite channel.
MBC Masr suspended the show in April, ahead of the Egyptian presidential elections, with officials stating “We care about the Egyptian elections going as smooth as possible; we don’t want the show to interfere with or influence the voters.” The show was expected to return on May 30, but it did not air. Earlier episodes this season had suffered technical difficulties blamed on signal jamming.
In his press conference, Youssef said he had also received threats. “I’m tired of the worry, tired of moving from channel to channel, tired of worrying about the safety of me and my family,” he said. “In plain terms, we’ve had it up to here.”
This is the second time for the show to be cancelled. Al-Bernameg originally aired on CBC, but it was suspended on November 2, minutes before the airing, and the channel eventually announced its cancellation.