02 June 2010

The Beeb may get blasted for its auto-cuties (can you believe Emily Maitlin dared to bare a stockinged calf? Or that Fiona Phillips undid two top buttons?) at least they’re not as backward as Middle Eastern channel Al-Jazeera. Five female presenters have resigned from the Arab news network, after the editor-in-chief Ayman Jaballah made ‘offensive remarks’ about their on screen outfits. Their fashion crime? Wearing makeup, leaving their hair uncovered, and not dressing ‘conservatively’.

Judge for yourself: is this blouse and jacket combo too racy?

Though viewers have complained about the popular presenter’s departure, Al-Jazeera (which aims to become the BBC of the Middle East) is backing their editor.

‘The on-screen style and general appearance of broadcasters and announcers are the legal right of the network to determine and develop,’ said a representative, noting its responsibility to ‘the spirit and principles of the channel and the image it wishes to present.’

They’re now putting together a ‘code of conduct regarding appearance’ so they’ll be no similar incidences in the future.
Do you think a channel representing the Arab world has a right to enforce Islamic dress codes? Even though the presenters in question are from Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia – which have far more liberal beliefs? Is a little lip-gloss a sackable offence? You tell us…

By Amy Molloy


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