Lawsuit may be filed against MTV
Storm over short documentary featuring council members without their consent continues.
June 7, 2010 3:33 by Samuel Potter
The Jeddah Municipal Council on Sunday hinted that it is considering a lawsuit against MTV Networks, which is owned by Viacom, for airing a recent short documentary about Saudi youths in which members of the council were shown in footage without their consent.
The council said in a statement that broadcasting images of council members is “an aggression against the rights of others” and said the members would demand their rights according to the regulations and laws in such cases.
The council suggested in its statement that the segment that showed the municipal council was distorted and misleading, but it did not elaborate. The segment in question pertained to a young Saudi man discussing the lack of women on the council.
Saudi lawyer Sulaiman Al-Jumaie, who defended Muhammad Abdul Jawad, the man deemed the “Sex Braggart” for going on an LBC program earlier this year talking about his sexual conquests, said he would defend those youths who appeared on the MTV documentary if a case were brought against them.
Abdul Jawad was sentenced to five years and 1,000 lashes for boasting about sinful behavior. Muncipal Council Deputy Chairman Hassan bin Muhamamd Al-Zahrani said the program stirred angry public reactions because of the numerous fabrications in contained. (Some locals have complained about one segment in particular that suggested women weren’t allowed by the government to wear colorful abayyas in Saudi Arabia.)
Al-Jumaie urged the Ministry of Information to effectively undertake its supervisory role and thoroughly apply regulations concerning print and broadcast. “The ministry should protect the society against the machinations of foreign media organs,” he said.