After his derogatory comment about 63-year-old Abdallah Taleb for taking his school exam ('Brevet') on the last episode of his satirical show spurred a multitude of angry tweets and lecture-type blog posts, Lebanese comedian and TV host Adel Karam responded to the hype through a Facebook apology yesterday.
"To everyone trying to exploit a comical situation that was not properly reflected in yesterday's episode of the 'Hayda Haki' program, after watching the episode, I say that we did not mean to offend Mr. Abdullah Taleb for whom we have a lot of respect. I wish Mr. Taleb would accept my sincere personal apology and necessary clarification," the Arabic post reads.
But the question remains whether this apology was able to soothe the unprecedented social media hype over his initial comment. In addition to the flood of critical tweets that followed, a #StillFunnierThanAdelKaram hashtag surfaced briefly on Twitter prior to the apology, moving the Lebanese audience's criticism of the incident one notch up.
This being said, Karam's facebook apology now boasts over 14,400 likes and up to 164 shares in addition to a diverse thread of comments. "Mr. Adel I suggest that you host him [the offended student] on your show and offer him an apology...because you know that some people used this situation against you and that way you'll shut the door in their face," one Facebook user suggested. "There is a difference between being funny and being petty... Stay funny my friend because we love you" another user wrote.
This is not the first time local TV presenters found themselves under attack over the past few days as there seems to be a growing public dissatisfaction with Lebanese television shows and presenters.
In a separate incident, Lebanese presenter Toni Khalife was exposed to heavy criticism after attacking some feminist NGOs he deemed to be interfering in 'family affairs' in an episode of talent show 'Mozee' Al-Arab' where he serves as a judge.
Another Lebanese presenter, LBC's Joe Maalouf was also under social media fire following his take on the case of 9-month-old baby amputee Ella Tannous.
Does all this mean hell will soon break loose over local TV shows and their hosts? No one can predict the future. However, the Lebanese public's increased awareness over TV content presented to them could very well be the seed for a gradual TV revolution.
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