One of the judges I didn’t mention in my previous posts was Mr. Ali Jaber. Mr. Jaber was not present during the controversial performance which took place last week. I somehow had faith that Mr. Jaber would have never accepted such a participant; let alone allow such acts to be performed in his presence.
I did voice out my concerns to him right after the episode:
I never received a reply till this moment.
A few minutes ago, I received an update from fellow blogger Gino. According to Gino who is a good friend of Mr. Jaber’s son, this was Mr. Jaber’s response:
Of course I am against animal cruelty and have always voted out all acts of violence, self-mutilation and animal abuse. I also believe AGT is not the platform to showcase these acts, however, these acts are present in our society and televisions’ role is to expose them and explain how wrong they are. We have already edited out the act from our online catch up service and won’t allow the contestant to repeat any animal act in the semi finals.
Here are my 2 cents on this response and I’m hoping that Mr. Jaber allows me to express my opinion freely as I still believe he would understand:
Dear Mr. Jaber,
Thank you for taking a stand against animal cruelty. I do know that a man of your caliber would have such standards. However, allow me to point out the following:
- The fact that these acts are present in our society is shameful and highlighting these bad acts is an honorable thing. But You have said it: neither is AGT the platform to showcase such acts nor is it the platform to take stands against them. It was unfortunate that this man was allowed to perform to begin with. I do believe that this audition was not a surprise. Your esteemed colleagues didn’t seem to be the least bothered by it. The only message we clearly received is that it’s “yucky” because of the snake and the scorpion eating; and not the animal abuse. There is a huge difference between disgusting and morally unacceptable. The fact that Ms. Najwa was the only one to deny this contestant entry is the difference here. The other 2 judges didn’t seem to mind nor hide their obvious excitement over the whole situation. Unacceptable.
- Editing the Shahid.net episode was probably a good call but what has been seen cannot be unseen. And I’m still not discussing the disgust; I’m discussing the ethical values displayed by the judges. I do not think I will be capable of believing that any of those judges would be serious about any other cause if this particular cause was not naturally on their priority list. We humans are superior beings and the fact that some fail to acknowledge that we have the upper hand here and are morally obliged to stand up against any injustice is a huge test to their humanity. They failed miserably.
While the episode has been edited, millions have probably watched the segment and again: some things cannot be unseen.
Allowing this particular contestant to continue on the show even if he was not to go near any animal is not enough.
In my humble opinion: this man should be banned from performing again and forbidden from auditioning again. That would be a great statement expected from a huge establishment such as MBC group and a very successful program like AGT. As for your esteemed colleagues.. I personally don’t think I will ever “entertain” myself with their work. They simply should not have the privilege of my valuable time as a viewer or a music lover. Period.
I know a man of your status and accomplishments would surely agree that if this audition took place on any other version of the show, the controversy itself wouldn’t have reached to this level due to one fact: this whole audition -shocking as it was- would have never been allowed and this man wouldn’t have been famous. The funny thing is that although I am contributing to this man’s fame; I am deeply ashamed that the world got to see us Arabs as barbaric human beings with total disregard to such values. Animal cruelty on a TV show dedicated to entertainment is not my idea of a perfect example we want to set to anyone. And surely, the lack of proper action towards the whole audition is just the cherry on the top.
Thank you for giving us your feedback and I will still wait to hear a statement from the group regarding this man.
I still have hope.