Egyptian MP Mostafa Bakry said that Ashab Wala A’aaz offended the customs of Egyptian society and called for a boycott of the platform.
The film, featuring famous Arab movie stars such as Nadine Labaki, Eyad Nassar, Adel Karam, and Georges Khabbaz, as well as Egyptian actress Mona Zaki, has become one of Egypt’s hottest topics on social media after it was released on Netflix last week.
A remake of the 2016 Italian film Perfect Strangers, the film split Egyptian public opinion.
In the movie, a game is played where people in the house put their phones on the table and have to share every incoming call, text message, and voicemail with the rest of the group. Thus, the most intimate secrets of the group are revealed.
Among them is a character who turned out to be gay and another character who was revealed to be cheating on his wife.
On the other hand, deputy Mostafa Bakry complained to the speaker of the parliament that the scenes in the series, such as the “acknowledgment of a homosexual relationship” and the revelation that one of the characters cheated on his wife, did not comply with the moral rules.
The Egyptian actors’ guild also issued a statement expressing its solidarity with Mona Zaki due to the criticism of the film and her character and vowed to support her against any legal action brought against Zaki for her role in the film.
The statement also added, “The Guild warns everyone not to target its members because a piece of art doesn’t suit their personal tastes.”
On the other hand, Mona Zaki has not yet made a public statement about the ongoing controversy, although he has shared his fans’ defenses of the film on his Instagram stories since Friday when the controversy began.
On the other hand, the film’s defenders argued that there was no reason to attack it, underlining that the film, which takes place in Lebanon, does not specifically depict Egypt.
‘Egyptian audience has deep-seated control issues‘
Egyptian novelist Mirna El Mahdy said on Facebook, “Egyptian audiences have really deep-seated control problems. Are they looking for ‘Egyptian‘ in a Netflix-produced movie with only one Egyptian actor? The majority of the cast and crew are not Egyptian, and the events do not take place in Egypt.“