If you still haven’t heard or read about the jaw dropping audition which took place a few days ago, here’s your chance to read about it -> CLICK ME
A couple of good friends helped send the previous post across the marvelous realm of the Interwebz and BOY.. did it go viral. I thought a simple rant about how barbaric and unfair that audition was wouldn’t get more than a hundred views at the most. But the lack of professionalism and concern towards the lives of both the audience and animals involved in the episode and that specific audition effected many animal lovers out there and I was blessed to see that voicing out your concerns CAN prove worthy.
That post was the most viewed and shared so far, it even reached The Daily Mail!
I have to thank many of the wonderful readers who helped spread the word about this horrible abuse.
Given all the above, you would expect a decent statement from any of the individuals associated with Arab’s Got Talent. This morning, Egyptian actor and “comedian” Ahmed Helmy broke the silence. And I wish he never did.
A fellow animal rights activist was pretty upset about the fact that 5 days after airing that shameful episode, no response whatsoever was evident. Her demand was not met with what she expected. When the “super star” -very known in the Middle East for being one of the most entertaining and inspiring comedians- decided to retweet one of her not-very-amusing tweets. She was genuinely upset about the whole situation and the lack of ownership. Now, you may or may not agree with some of her tweets but eventually: the lack of respect towards animal rights and a segment of viewers who are keen on this type of obvious abuse might justify her harsh words towards him.
To those of you who do not know Mr. Ahmed Helmy, here’s a link to help you understand the gravity of the situation.
I woke up and saw a couple of tweets from the young lady telling us that he finally responded and that his response was a retweet of one of her MANY tweets taken out of context! Not only did he pick a tweet that portrays him as a victim and her as a “nasty and spiteful woman”, he ignores the rest of the tweets by MANY others AND his devoted fans launched an attack on the young lady calling her crazy, stupid, an animal and all sorts of profanities.
He kept on retweeting and not even answering our valid question:
How can YOU, as a role model to children and a COMEDIAN find it entertaining to joke around with a man who CLEARLY abused an animal in your presence AND give him a green light in a clear endorsement of such horrible abuse?
Mr. Helmy was deeply offended by the fact that the activist wished his kid the same treatment. I get you, buddy. You have my heart. But please do give me a response to the following questions:
- Given the fact that you were once considered a role model to children as your very beginning was in a program involved with children, what kind of values do you promote to those children (including your lovely daughter) when you are involved in an audition that involves killing animals live on air and blessing the participant with your approval for him to move to the next stage?
- Do you find killing animals for fun amusing or is it just the shock of the whole situation? I’m guessing it’s the former since you jumped on stage and fooled around with the other unfortunate snakes. Hell, you asked the man to salt the goddamn scorpion just before he gobbled it!
- Would you enjoy it if one day your own child chose to grab any animal and stab it for fun?
- In case your answer to the previous question was “NO”; what would your response be if your kid told you “but daddy, you let the big man kill that scorpion and snake and played with him! NOT FAIR!”
- Do you think that it is responsible of you and your colleagues to allow such acts given the fact that:
- The man possessed a possibly deadly scorpion and that poses a hazard on him, yourself, your colleagues and the audience.
- According to ANY human being, killing animals for fun is a BIG no-no. Especially when your message is being delivered to millions (and that might include a large percentage of children, teens and possible sick individuals) who might perceive your approval as a general approval and encouragement to such practices.
- The man is clearly neither in military nor does he seem to be qualified to perform such a show (without the animals included!)
- Do you as a man chosen as ambassador of the project “Food for Education” by the UN approve of such practices? What is your stand on animal abuse in slaughterhouses and farm animal cruelty?
- Do you think that reptiles and arthropods are less susceptible to pain and such since they’re neither fluffy nor widely available around us? Is it acceptable to treat those differently than sheep, cattle, goats, poultry and/or any other domesticated animals?
- Would you have reacted the same way if the contestant in question chose to skin a cat or a rabbit live on stage?
- Do you eat rabbits? (you can skip this question, I know the answer “الملوخية بالأنارب متتعوضش!”)
I know Mr. Helmy will not answer my questions, MBC group might not bother to even issue a statement regarding this controversial episode, nor will any of the other judges even bother since they’re clearly more concerned with “how good they looked like on the show” or “how amused everyone was with that episode or any episode”.
Mr. Helmy: you as an ambassador of the project “Food for Education” launched by the UN World Food Programme should not allow such abuse on a live show. Your wikipedia page states that you “plan to do everything he (you) can to help children.”
Your approval and your display of humor towards the situation does not help children. A child that is brought up to believe that animals are dispensable and can be killed for fun will definitely see no harm in treating humans equally one day. A child that witnesses such horrible abuse will never have compassion towards anyone else’s misfortunes just because “it doesn’t seem to be a big issue after all”. A child that watches fully grown men and women bless such horrific acts of violence and abuse will never relate to a cause. You got offended because one lady wished harm upon your child although she doesn’t really want that kind of harm to be inflicted upon any creature to begin with, let alone an innocent child. You, however helped someone inflict that same harm she did not wish to happen and even blessed it.
Mistakes are mistakes if they happen unwillingly. We were waiting for a sincere statement; a simple apology acknowledging that we do not live in the jungle and that you as a human being and an adult are as responsible as your fame and status should dictate on you. You have the power of fame and influence and you misused your power. Not only by blessing animal abuse, but by refusing to take responsibility of your actions and own up to your mistakes. You have launched a personal attack on someone who did not attack you for personal reasons; but VALUES. Common sense and DECENT values.
You have lost ALL my respect.
And I pray for your wife and child not to slip into this swamp of disgusting degradation of human values you call fame and entertainment.
I would like to thank the people behind BETA – Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for spreading the word about this abuse. My friends and hundreds of others for reading, sharing and voicing out their opinion regarding this shameless and disturbing trend in the Middle East.
Please sign this petition so that we can end this ridiculousness for once and for all.
May God have mercy on those poor souls and on humanity which seems to have gone haywire these days.. especially in the Middle East.
And Mr. Helmy, PS:
9/10/2013 – UPDATE: another response from Mr. Ali Jaber: here.
12/10/2013 – UPDATE: Mr. Helmy issued a statement through his Twitter account acknowledging the mistake and apologizing to those who were effected by the episode. Thank you, Mr. Helmy.