Egyptian State Television has suspended eight female anchors until they lose weight in what it says is an attempt to improve its image.
Gulf News Egypt reports the eight have been given one month to slim down.
The Telegraph says the decision, which has been met by outrage from women’s groups and members of parliament, was made by the new female chief of Egypt’s WRTU public station Safaa Hegazi, who promised to modernize the station when she got the job.
“This decision sounds the alarm for all TV presenters that they have to pay attention to their appearances, including body weight,” said the channel’s chairman Majdi Lasheen. “This is the beginning of a plan to apply discipline and regulations designed to restore the beautiful image of all official TV stations. The decision to suspend the eight presenters is aimed at giving them a chance to change their looks in order to fit appearance on television.”
“It is humiliating and even scandalous,” Khadija Khatab, one of the suspended anchors told Al Watan. “We have Oprah Winfrey as a successful example.”