A Saudi channel was criticized for broadcasting the reaction of a reality TV show contestant as he was being informed of his father’s death on Saturday.
Bedaya, a local satellite channel specialized in airing reality programs, aired the reaction of contestant Ibrahim Awad when the anchor informed him of his father’s passing on live television.
The video of the young man who reacted in shock and began crying while running around the studio went viral.
The act triggered furious responses from social media users, who accused the channel of exploiting human emotions to increase viewership.
Saudi Twitter users created an Arabic hashtag which translates to ‘Bedaya exploits contestants’ emotions’, prompting the channel to issue an official apology.
Abdelaziz al-Araifi, head of Bedaya TV, said announcing the death of the contestant’s father in this manner was “foolish and stupid”.
He also blamed the incident on the show’s supervisor and producer, denying that the channel gave any permissions regarding the live announcement.
Araifi added that the incident is being investigated and that those at fault will be punished.