#Trending: Saudi TV pulls women's rights campaign after backlash

#Trending: Saudi TV pulls women's rights campaign after backlash

2 min read
04 Apr, 2017
What was meant to be an inspirational online campaign to encourage women to be empowered has seriously backfired for a Saudi-funded TV channel.

MBC4 put out a statement on Monday apologising for the well-meant campaign [Twitter]

What was meant to be an inspirational online campaign to encourage women to be empowered has seriously backfired for a Saudi-funded TV channel.

MBC4's Arabic-language hashtag #BeFree, which aimed to promote women's rights, sparked a storm of online anger this week prompting the broadcaster to call off the Twitter campaign.

"You weren't born to be a follower or a shadow," said one of the campaign's tweets, according to alleged screen grabs taken before the campaign was deleted.

"Rebel and be free without limits," said another.

All the tweets were posted with images of Western-looking women in skimpy clothing for Saudi standards.

The campaign angered many Saudis, who believed they were inciting women to go against their religious values and cultural traditions.

Thousands of Twitter users called for a boycott of the channel and a Saudi prince, who helped establish the channel, condemned the campaign and even called for the "destruction" of the employees behind it.

MBC4 put out a statement on Monday apologising for the well-meant campaign and claimed that some of the screengrabs of tweets had been photoshopped.

Aside from the negative reactions, many social media users showed their support for women's rights in the Arab world.

"Inspiring and encouraging women to seek their rights is NEVER a bad thing. No one should apologize doing such thing," said one Twitter user.