As weird and conservative as politics get in the US of A, we usually don’t have the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells (R.I.P.) calling for the death of TV executives and show presenters over ‘immoral’ content. Saudi Arabia is a tad different.
Variety had a few different stories about the way hard-line clerics are denouncing TV programs. Here’s how it started:
Saudi Arabia’s top judge, Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaidan, earlier this month sparked controversy when he said on radio that the owners of satellite networks broadcasting "immoral" programs may be killed.
Now I understand wanting to off people because so many shows are just plain terrible, but that’s a whole different reason. The judge toned it down a bit, rewording his statement by saying that “depraved” content producers can only be put to death after being found guilty by a court. Oh, that’s reasonable.
It’s not just produers though. The talent is also in on the firing line, including popular horoscope presenters:
Saleh al-Fozan, another member of Saudi Arabia’s supreme judicial council, issued his own fatwa approving the killing of horoscope presenters, labeling them as "sorcerers … (who) have committed a great crime.
Here are some samples of new and improved horoscopes suggested by the clerics:
At the end of the day the audiences are lapping up the programs. Ratings are constantly growing, no matter how irate hardliners are. So even if the programming is shitty, it’s a step in the right direction. Digital democracy folks.
Variety sounds the ram’s horn.