Moroccan TV show Sabahiyat on Channel 2M had quite a few people upset over its latest makeup tutorial, which gave women tips on how to cover up bruising from domestic abuse.
The video shows a woman with reportedly fake bruises around her eyes and a makeup artist explaining how to conceal the black and blue. Viewers weren’t too keen on the bit. “We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life,” the host said.
The segment sparked a backlash on social media and inspired a Change.org petition calling for “severe sanctions” against the show. “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,” the petition reads. Instead of teaching women how to cover their bruises, the petition suggests, the money and time put into the segment would have been better spent teaching men not to hit women in the first place.
So far the petition has more than 2,100 signatures and is inching ever closer to its 2,500-name goal. The segment aired Nov. 23, which the petition notes is just days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Channel 2M issued an apology for the “error in judgment” on its Facebook page. 2M says that the segment is indeed not in line with the culture of the channel, which seeks to uplift and support women. “This approach is in complete contradiction with the editorial line of the chain, with the charter 2M valorization of the image of the woman, and especially with the commitment of 2M for 27 years in favour of the defence [of] the rights of the wife,” they wrote. “Commitment known and recognized by our public and civil society. It is to point out that the show Sabahiyat aired during the current week of headings on the legal arsenal of protection of the rights of the wife.”
Some people aren’t embracing the apology. “An error of judgement?! Seriously?! How about no brain at all?! How could anyone be so crassly stupid to imagine that all women want is ‘to carry on with their daily lives’ after being beaten blue,” one person wrote. “Showing how to cover birthmarks is one thing — but put the very idea into anyone’s mind to show them how to help a woman beater get away with it? Despicable. There is no excuse for such a ‘mistake’ when it is so extraordinarily purposeful and passes through many hands and ‘okays’ before it would ever even hit a TV screen! Apology not accepted,” another opined. “When you think how they could have chosen to show how to defend yourself, or advice and examples from women who had managed to get out of those situations, your choices were endless if you really wanted to ‘help,’ which makes the whole thing even more appalling. It’s not even in the vicinity of a ‘mistake.’”