There Are Rumours That Ramadan Favourite 'The Shock' Is A Fake Show And Twitter Is Going Nuts
One of the most successful and talked about shows in Ramadan 2016 is “Al Sadma” or The Shock which airs daily on MBC1. In each episode, a group of undercover actors act a scene which contains a shocking topic in a public place and then wait for the passers-by to react. People’s reaction is then caught on hidden cameras. Many of them interfere to try to fix the situation while others get very upset with what they see and start defending the “victim” and lashing out at the “attacker”. The topics so far varied from publicly insulting waiters to verbally abusing a parent in a marketplace to shouting sectarian slurs in a busy shop.
The show which is filmed in 5 different Arab countries: KSA, UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq, gained a lot of attention on social media, good and bad. But the main topic that was on everyone’s keyboard was the authenticity of the show.
The authenticity of the show came under questioning last week when Saudi presenter Hussam Al Harthi posted a then deleted tweet about one of the episodes: “#TheShock. An extra actor wearing makeup and acting as a shocked member of the audience. I recognize him because he participated in a scene with me once with the same producer”
The tweet generated a huge response on Twitter
“I knew it was fake from the first episode. I feel sorry for the people who watch it every day and cry thinking it is real”
“I agree with you 100%. This was my opinion from the first episode. The show plays on people’s emotions which is disgusting.”
اتفق معك ١٠٠٪ هذا رأيي من بدايه البرنامج— سعود العتيبي (@saud996) June 20, 2016
اللعب على وتر العاطفه اصبح يدعو للاشمئزاز والقرف
While others did not agree that it’s fake and praised the idea of the show which aims at proving that humanity and kindness still exist:
#الصدمه day after day this show shows us that humanity and equality in our countries still exist, and Islam is still pure no matter what.— ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ+++ (@IXVINTAG) June 19, 2016
#الصدمه best tv show this Ramadan , hands down. Respect and appreciation to who ever came up with that.— براءهـ (@baraa_Omer66) June 20, 2016
Others didn’t care if it was fake or not because it delivers a good message regardless:
“The show is very successful even if it is fake. The purpose of it is to send a positive message to Arab communities in these desperate times.”
البرنامج ناجح جدا حتى ولو كان تمثيل.الهدف إيصال رسالة إيجابية للمجتمعات العربية في هذا الوقت الصعب— خميس الجهوري (@AlJahooriKhamis) June 20, 2016
However, the producer of the show was quick to deny the authenticity rumours in a phone call with Al Arabiya TV. He explained that that particular episode was shot 5 months ago and the extra actor in question was at that time a regular man who happened to be in that café at the time of shooing. He then approached one of the producers to work as an actor and the producer agreed, and that’s why he later appeared with Al Harthi as an extra.
The show which looks like a replica of the American version What Would You Do is not the first Ramadan show to get questioned for its authenticity. Many prank shows such as Ramez Is Playing with Fire, Mini ISIS and Hani in the Jungle regularly receive criticism for being fabricated, while the guests who appear on these shows get accused of being paid to act that they are unaware of the plot.
While the previously mentioned prank shows lack positivity or even humour, The Shock is trying to deliver the message that goodness, kindness and solidarity still exist inside everyone of us, and that our humanity is still alive and kicking, and that is what we should be focusing on whether the program appears to be staged or not. Do you agree?