Home > LGBT - Media > MTV’s Joe Maalouf Shoots “Pornography” in Tripoli Cinema

MTV’s Joe Maalouf Shoots “Pornography” in Tripoli Cinema


Another outrageous report by MTV, the Lebanese TV station now popular for its bigotry, racism, homophobia, and hate-incitement was aired on May 8, 2012.

How we view MTV’s chosen slogan. Discrimination and treating people with double standard

The Anta Hurr (أنت حر Arabic for “You are free”) episode included using a hidden camera inside an adult all-men movie theater in Lebanon’s second largest city, Tripoli. The video shows shadows of men masturbating and a short sexual chat with one of them. Joe Maalouf called on officials to close the theater permanently. The next day, Cinema Hamra in Tripoli was shut down without any official or public response by any politician or leader. Read the Assafir report here.

In my opinion, what MTV has done is wrong on many levels:

The faces of the people filmed were not blurred. Just imagine what has happened to the lives of these men the next day when their faces were shown nationwide. MTV did not think about the men’s safety and security in a society where honor crimes are still protected by the law and where social stigma can lead marginalized people to destructive behavior or self-harm.

Did Joe Maalouf already judge the men present there as criminals and less human than the rest of us and thus exposing their identity to the public without their consent was ruled legitimate?

Why did MTV go all the way to Tripoli, to that one unique place, and ignore the countless adult clubs in Hamra and other areas in Beirut? That cinema charges 5,000 L.L. per entrance, so it is likely that they make less money than the “elite” clubs elsewhere. They thus have less money to bribe the system. Is that why MTV chose the Tripoli-based Cinema Hamra? Was it an easier target to attack and ensure that the closure would happen and score a “victory” for their TV show?

Or did MTV choose Cinema Hamra because it caters for men only? And sex among adult consenting men is abnormal in their eyes so they had to stop that “scandal!” Joe Maalouf presented the topic as if this place is a danger to the homes and families in the city. He acted as if the pornography screened there can be seen from the balconies of neighboring buildings or that all the ejaculates of masturbation are splashing on the rooftops of Tripoli’s houses.

The documentary only showed adult men. However, at the end of the episode, Joe Maalouf made it sound like such places are there to lure teenagers and drug them.

And to make sure that you agitated everyone, if people did not care about what was happening between the walls of that cinema, MTV brings in religion to make the subject sound more alarming. MTV brought in religion by using a cheesy statement about having to cut out the “Adhan” from the background. Then Maalouf called on Sheikhs to condemn the behavior.

I am not advocating for the presence of such places nor am I condemning them. I am only commenting on the fact that MTV treated the men there as nonhumans where it violated their basic human right for privacy and carelessly put their safety at stake. MTV filmed them without their permission and shared the video on national TV without their permission. I hold MTV accountable for any wrong-doing or harm that is inflicted upon these men whether by their own hands or somebody else’s.

The only problem that will remain in Lebanon, even if no one will hear about any suffering the men experienced, is that you definitely labeled them as less human than we all are.

The only argument that I would have understood and sympathized with is if you had mentioned that the place is not monitored by health authorities to ensure safety and public health by confidential counseling and STD testing. I see that you were more concerned about the “scandalous” nature of your reporting which ensure attracting more viewers.

For more on how you’ve acted in a completely unprofessional manner, please read Jean Salim’s take on the issue.

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  1. May 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Reblogged this on Nizar Rammal.

  2. Ymn
    May 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Well said!

  3. May 18, 2012 at 1:22 am

    just have a question, if this is an ADULT place, aren’t adult free to chose and decide if they want to visit such a place or no ?? If nothing “illegal” is happening , what is the problem? Where is the freedom ?? “Sawt el 7orriya” mtv ?!! yeah right !!!
    I really do not get it… they are not sleeping together nor touching each other … Since when watching porn is illegal…
    And joe maalouf seriously, go wank before you go on “air” and u burst into orgasms 😉

  4. May 18, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Thank you for reflagging Nizar and for the comment Ymn

  5. LEBZ
    July 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

    The whole thing is absurd especially since the presenter himself is obviously a queen!

  6. momo
    July 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    He’s a pedophile that wont let any cute little boy get past this bed !!! know he wanna talk about ” illegal sexual acts”?!
    Thanks for the article.

  7. Rouba
    August 1, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Tfouuuuuuu 3al MTV!! The most racist, retarded, sexist, piece of trash of a TV station!! Constantly spreads backward thinking and bigorty! Shame shame shame!

  8. LGBT Media Monitor
    August 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    A message from MTV Lebanon’s Jyad Murr to the LGBT community

    This is shared unedited and as it was received by Mr. Jyad Murr on our Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor:

    “I would also like to share a discussion I had with a friend on a clip that mtv and all other channels passed long time ago: Hi … , I know that the clip is not nice and it passed long ago on mtv and all tv channels in Lebanon and the arab world and is not passing anymore, this is the case for any new clip for a known artist and this artist is popular and known. But there is a strange campaign of accusations just against mtv, as if mtv is homophobe or racist or whatever, and i’m sure you know that mtv is not. There is a campaign each week to discredit a successful tv station. They start digging examples from the past, once for an old comedy sketch a la cage des folles, or once for a hidden cam report done 3 month ago in Tripoli, etc.. Didn’t we do a hidden cam, on drugs, on Prisons, on prostitution etc etc.. We will keep on doing special reports like any good tv station in the world does. MTV in no way encourages discrimination –including discrimination due to sexual orientation. We regret that this debate has come into question. MTV condemns the actions of the police force and certainly endorses the call for the immediate and safe release of the remaining men being held in custody. Going back to the video clip in question, Just remember that the guy in this clip did a very controversial song before about “women to stay home and not work”, just to create controversy, and women laughed in his face, and even one of them did a clip against him to say that he is from the stone ages, but women in general didn’t start attacking us for discrimination… anyway, I hope that some of you will start realising that this is a campaign against mtv and stops helping the instigators spreading it”

    He adds in a second comment:

    “and with another friend: Hi … don’t want to keep answering or defending, I gave my point of view, but let’s stop the paranoia please, each time a word is used in a report doesn’t mean it is accusing a group of people, unless they are Paranoiac as I said. If you see a homosexual or a Heterosexual masturbating in a movie theatre, you would say “shefna Chazz” etc 🙂 so please stop this nonsense”

  9. Jad
    August 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Joe…please come out…btirte7 w bitrayyi7 !!!!!!

  1. May 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm
  2. July 9, 2012 at 2:23 am
  3. August 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm
  4. August 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm
  5. August 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm

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