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Egyptian TV Orders Female Newscasters to Lose Weight

If you're a woman on Egyptian TV, you must be presentable or risk getting firing, according to the Egyptian Radio and Television Union.

Earlier today, the Union temporarily suspended eight women newscasters for a month so they can slim down. If they don't lose weight they will lose their job, an order from Safaa Hegazy, chair of the Egyptian Radio & Television Union.

While women's groups are calling foul play, Amr Al-Shennawaii, one of the chief managers for state-run Nile TV International, claims in just business. “For many years, people have mocked Egyptian presenters because of their appearance and lack of qualification," Al-Shennawaii says to BuzzFeed News, "so when we are finally trying to bring reform, people are angry. That’s strange.”

Al-Shennawai claims this new standard also applies to the men in the newsroom. “The eyes see before the ears hear, so appearance is important.” No word which male newscasters (if any) are facing suspension.

This isn't a good month for Egypt and body positivity. Egyptian branch of Gold's Gym came under fire for its insensitive ads and the franchise's lackluster apology.


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