A Moroccan state-owned TV channel has issued an apology after it aired a segment that demonstrated how to cover up domestic violence bruises with makeup.
Sabahiyat, which airs on state channel 2M TV, caused an uproar on Wednesday, November 23, two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, when it ran a tutorial of a makeup artist teaching viewers how to cover blue and purple "bruises" around the eyes and cheekbones of a model.
"It's a painful and sorrowful topic, but on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we will show you the makeup [to cover the signs] of beatings," the artist said in Arabic, according to CNN.
Many viewers were outraged by the segment, saying it normalized domestic violence and encouraged victims to conceal their bruises rather than condemn the abusers.
"Host spends more time talking about the best brand of makeup to cover domestic violence bruises than the actual issue of domestic violence," one Twitter user wrote.
A Change.org petition titled "Don't cover domestic violence with makeup" was created by a group called Concerned Moroccan Citizens, which wrote, "As Moroccan women and as feminist activists in Morocco, and in the name of all Moroccan people, we denounce the message of normalization with violence against women. We demand severe sanctions against the show, Sabahiyat, and the channel 2M. We encourage signatories to contact the High Authority of Audiovisual Communication, demanding it take action against 2M and Sabahiyat." The petition garnered more than 3,000 supporters.
2M TV subsequently removed the video from its website and apologized for airing the segment. "The management believe that this section is completely inappropriate and was an editorial error of judgment in view of the sensitivity and the gravity of the subject of violence against women," the channel said in a Facebook post. "This approach is in complete contradiction with the editorial line of the chain, with the 2M charter that values the image of women and especially with the commitment of 2M, which has defended the rights of women for 27 years. The channel offers its sincerest apologies for this error in judgment."
CNN reported that domestic violence is not a crime in Morocco, where nearly two-thirds of women reported in a 2009–2010 national survey that they'd experienced physical, psychological, sexual or economic violence.
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