Survey: Most Arabs want more censorship of film and TV
Around 70 percent of viewers want tighter regulation on violent and romantic scenes, according to six-nation poll
The majority of Arabs want tighter censorship of films and TV shows, according to a six-nation poll.
Around 69 percent of respondents felt there should be greater regulation of romantic content, while 74 percent said more should be done about on-screen violence, according to a survey by Northwestern University in Qatar in partnership with the Doha Film Institute.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents said films or other entertainment programs should be banned altogether if they are found offensive.
Infographic: Arab views on entertainment
Most of those surveyed said Arab films and television are good for morality, while just 15 percent said the same about films from the United States. Over a third said they thought Hollywood films and TV shows are harmful for morality.
The survey was published in the same week as it emerged that a movie starring Lebanese film and pop star Haifa Wehbe had been pulled from Egyptian cinemas after being deemed sexually provocative.
Censorship is applied in varying degrees across many Arab countries. Films are regularly censored in cinemas; in the UAE, for example, The Wolf of Wall Street was 45 minutes shorter due to removed scenes.
The ‘Entertainment Media Use in the Middle East’ survey was based on 6,035 face-to-face interviews in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
Two-thirds of adults from the countries surveyed said people benefit from watching content from different parts of the world, yet a similar proportion said they prefer films that portray their own culture. Around 79 percent said more should be done to preserve cultural traditions, while at the same time 70 percent want more cultural integration with modern society.
“These apparently contradictory findings really are not, but reflect how the Arab world is coping with globalization and still grappling to preserve local culture,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of Northwestern University in Qatar.
Abdulaziz al-Khater, chief executive of the Doha Film Institute, said the survey showed a “growing demand” for locally generated entertainment.
“The findings reinforce the idea that nurturing a thriving creative industry in our region is vital to enabling the creation of content that accurately reflects Arab culture,” al-Khater said.
Egypt pulls sexually explicit Haifa Wehbe filmThe film revolves around Rooh, played by dark-haired pop star Wehbe, who ignites passion among men Life
Malaysia bans ‘un-Islamic’ Noah filmMalaysia is the latest Muslim country to ban ‘Noah’ on religious grounds, in addition to Indonesia, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE Asia
‘Noah’ and the Arab world’s ineffective censorshipAre these bans legitimate public policy, or are they – like so many other laws regulating public culture – built on fear and misunderstanding? Middle East
No love for ‘Noah:’ Egypt to join Gulf in banning the Hollywood filmMany Middle Eastern countries are not “all aboard” for Noah. Variety
Hollywood blockbuster ‘Noah’ banned in Qatar, Bahrain, UAEThe $125 million film, prohibited by Egypt's Azhar, has sent shockwaves across the Arab world Entertainment
Egypt’s Azhar prohibits screening of NoahThe top Muslim institution says the film is contrary to the faith and the fundamentals of Islam Middle East
Final Cut: Wolf of Wall Street chopped by 45 mins in UAELeonardo DiCaprio flick The Wolf of Wall Street has made it to the UAE’s silver screen, but with a wolf-sized bite taken out of it Entertainment
Investigating Lebanon’s censorship lawsSpecial Mission
Protest against internet censorship in IstanbulPolice fired water cannon and teargas to disperse hundreds of people protesting in central Istanbul on Saturday against new controls on the Internet ... Perspective
Erdogan says no Internet censorship in TurkeyTurkey’s prime minister also denied that government authorities would have access to Internet users’ personal information Digital