French-Algerian actor angers Morocco with insulting comments about women, children

French-Algerian actor angers Morocco with insulting comments about women, children
French-Algerian actor Bouhlel Brahim and two others have caused outrage in Morocco with disparaging comments about women and children.
3 min read
06 April, 2021
Bouhlel Brahim has previously worked for Canal+ [Getty]
French-Algerian actor Bouhlel Brahim has sparked controversy with a video he filmed in Morocco, where he made disparaging comments about women and children. 

In the video Brahim, fellow French actor and comedian Hedi Bouchenafa, and social media influencer Zbarbooking, make disparaging comments about paying women for sex, before going on to mock young children who asked for money. 

Moroccans took to social media this week to condemn the men's actions and called for them to be banned from the country

In the video the men are seated at a table as Brahim describes how he treats people who speak badly to him.

"The last person who spoke badly to me in Morocco, I gave him a wad of dirhams, and I slapped him with it," says Brahim as he slaps himself across the face with a stack of banknotes.

Brahim goes on to comment, "what I like here is all the p**** that I pay just 100 dirhams for".

Instagram Post

Following Brahim’s comments, his two companions invite three children selling flowers and tissues on the streets to their table, where they are insulted them. Brahim provides a running commentary.

The Twitter account Moorish Movement posted the video and rebuked the men for their actions. 

"Franco-Algerian actor Bouhlel Brahim (voiceover), actor Hedi Bouchenafa and snapchatter Zbarbooking humiliate children, utter degrading words and convey salacious clichés in Morocco. We are expecting an exemplary response from the authorities," they wrote.

"Brahim works for @canalplus, and is also sponsored by @adidasFR, one wonders if they condone that one of their collaborators participates in the humiliation of children," they added.

Adidas Paris did respond to the video. 

"Adidas strongly opposes any form of intolerance, discrimination, and sexism. We commit to making sport a space where everyone is fully accepted. While no contract binds the brand to Bouhlel Brahim, Adidas has agreed to reconsider its collaboration with him," the sports brand wrote on Instagram.

The men are now facing potential legal action after the Lawyers Club in Morocco announced that they were filing a complaint. 

"The Club of Lawyers in Morocco vigorously condemns the hateful, abject and racist remarks made against Moroccan children by pseudo-humorists / influencers and decides to file a complaint before the King's Prosecutor for defamation, public insults and discrimination. These statements violated the dignity of Moroccan children," they wrote on Twitter.

Following the intense backlash on Twitter, the men issued public apologies. 

"If my video was awkward and hurt the Moroccan people, I express here all my apologies," Brahim posted on Instagram.

Read more: INSAF: The Moroccan NGO helping society's most vulnerable survive the coronavirus lockdown

"What I said does not reflect in any way the reality of my perception of the Kingdom. They only fit into a parody, which undoubtedly failed in its effects. Morocco is a great country, which has always warmly welcomed me. I reiterate to its people my sincere apologies and brotherhood," he added.

Hedi Bouchenafa also took to Instagram to comment on his actions. 

"I wanted to apologise to the children and the women we hurt… I can understand the surge of hate on your part and I am saddened. You welcomed me like a prince and I’m sorry I disappointed you," wrote the comedian.

Bouhlel Brahim did not respond to The New Arab’s requests for comment.

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