MBC, the Saudi-owned satellite channel that broadcasts Bassem Youssef’s Al-Bernameg stated on Tuesday that the resumption of the satirical TV show will be postponed. The channel added on its official Facebook page that the reasons behind the delay will be revealed soon and denied any intention to pull the show off the air completely.
Saudi media personality Khaled al-Magreshy stated on Thursday that Youssef’s satirical show will not be aired on the Saudi channel and added that, “MBC cares for the best interest of all Arabs and Bassem Youssef should look for another channel to express his sarcasm towards the Egyptian people and its Armed Forces.”
Magreshy added that the King of Saudi Arabia had banned the show, preventing MBC from airing it, according to privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper.
The channel had issued a statement earlier that day stating that the show will not be aired on May 30 at 10 pm as advertised before. Both the channel and the Al-Bernameg team apologized to the audience and promised to disclose more information later.
The satirical talk-show host expressed his happiness on his Twitter account last Thursday and wrote, “We are preparing for next week’s episode, hopefully an interesting one on the presidential election.”
On Tuesday, a statement was published both on Al-Bernameg’s Facebook page and on Youssef’s Twitter account, where he started a now-trending hashtag, “long live Al-Bernameg” and wrote, “The fate of Al-Bernameg will be revealed in detail in the coming few days.”
Youssef will be hosted by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle Arabic tomorrow at 9:15 pm.
In April, the Saudi owned channel decided to suspend the show until May 30, claiming that its aim is to not influence Egyptian citizens during the presidential elections. The self censorship, the channel stated, comes from a respect to the Egyptian people and a concern for the presidential election.
In March, the satellite channel stated that they had faced deliberate interference during the airing of the show, the third season resumed in February after Egyptian satellite channel CBC canceled it abruptly.