US co­me­dian’s show can­celed in Saudi Ara­bia

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A per­for­mance in Saudi Ara­bia by US standup co­me­dian and ac­tor Mike Epps has been can­celled, its or­ga­niz­ers said, af­ter com­plaints from Is­lamic hard­lin­ers. The show, sched­uled for next week, was one of nu­mer­ous events lined up to be­gin in­tro­duc­ing en­ter­tain­ment to the con­ser­va­tive Is­lamic king­dom, where al­co­hol, cin­e­mas and the­atres are banned. “Dear clients, we re­gret to in­form you that the Mike Epps event has been can­celled”, the or­ga­niz­ing com­pany, Mas­ter Events, said on Twit­ter, promis­ing a full re­fund.

Epps was to ap­pear at Princess Noura bint Ab­dul­rah­man Univer­sity, a cam­pus ex­clu­sively for women. “The show was can­celled by the univer­sity and not by us as or­ga­niz­ers,” Mas­ter Events said. Twit­ter users had started a hash­tag, “Hol­ly­wood at Noura Univer­sity”, call­ing for the show’s can­cel­la­tion be­cause it would not fit with lo­cal tra­di­tions. Epps has fea­tured in films in­clud­ing “The Hang­over”, about the af­ter­math of a drunken bach­e­lor party in Las Ve­gas.

The univer­sity has de­nied be­ing be­hind the Epps show, say­ing a third party rented the con­fer­ence hall and the event “was li­censed by the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties”. En­ter­tain­ment pro­grams be­gan in Oc­to­ber when New York the­atri­cal group iLu­mi­nate per­formed at the Princess Noura Univer­sity. Hun­dreds of men and women, side-by-side, hooted their ap­pre­ci­a­tion and clapped to the hip hop beat. The show was fol­lowed by WWE wrestling, which took place be­fore a male-only crowd at a sep­a­rate venue. Many Saudis spend their en­ter­tain­ment dol­lars in neigh­bor­ing Bahrain and Dubai. — AFP

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