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I feel that ‘The Bold Red Line’ television program carried on the Lebanese LBC channel encourages some young men and women to discuss highly-sensitive issues such as homosexuality and infidelity etc. These young men and women, by admitting their errors on the program, have caused themselves and their families’ serious harm. The program’s producers shoulder the most responsibility socially for all the confessions made on the program and the subsequent impact they might have.

The production team should have taken into consideration the Arab social milieu, within which the program operates, as well as the futures of those naive people to whom appearing on television and speaking out appealed before leaving them to deal with criticism from society and perhaps even a legal case. It is not enough to say that the program is discussing and dealing with real issues in Arab societies. No one is denying that there are some problems; however, there should be media and moral limitations in dealing with such problems, otherwise these programs will only serve as a tool to propagate and further reinforce these errors.

Part of the Arab youth is confused between Western conduct, portrayed by the Western media, on the one hand, and the values of the society in which we live on the other hand. Perhaps these youths are deluded into thinking that by taking part in such television programs they will be considered modern and open-minded, so they make comments that do not necessarily reflect their reality and lifestyle. This is where the responsibility of the production team comes in. In my opinion, it instigated and supported guest appearances that were excessive [and inappropriate] in several episodes.

Many people in the field of psychology are aware of the strong desire of young people to appear in the media regardless of the reasons for the appearance and even if the subject matter is a negative one. This would explain the incentives of different guests who stand in front of the cameras to confess that they have committed adultery or homosexual acts without taking into consideration the serious impact these confessions might have on them such as isolation, disapproval and social rejection.

As some people are saying that the program has reached the end of its run, or that the channel has dropped it, I was hoping that there would be one last episode in which the program’s producers would give a sincere and clear apology to all the young people whose naiveté and ignorance was exploited and who were embroiled in serious disagreements with their families and societies. I hoped they would also apologise to the audience and families who had to listen to such foolishness.

Muhammad Diyab

Muhammad Diyab

Muhammad Diyab is a well-known Saudi writer and journalist.

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