Khaled Youssef, a prominent film director in Egypt, has recently been embroiled in a sex scandal that has rocked the entertainment industry in the country. The allegations against Youssef are grave and disturbing, yet he continues to work on his latest project, “Sero El Batea,” with the support of some individuals in the industry who should know better.
The Allegations Against Youssef
Youssef’s scandal allegedly began in 2015 when journalist Ahmed Moussa published blurred photos that purportedly showed a person he claimed was the Egyptian director and parliamentarian Khaled Youssef, accompanied by two “naked” women whose faces were not visible, on his program “Ala Mas’ouliyati” live on air. Moussa also claimed to have more “obscene” photos and videos of Khaled Youssef.
Shortly after, the dean of the Faculty of Arts at Alexandria University accused Youssef of harassing his wife, leading to a complaint filed against Youssef by the dean’s lawyer, Ehab Maher.
Only days after, in a weird turn of events, Ahmed Moussa publicly apologized to the director on air for the leaks he had published on his program, following a reconciliation session between Moussa and Youssef held at the home of parliamentarian Mortada Mansour and attended by other personalities, as the journalist declared his “support for Khaled Youssef and solidarity with him.”
Later in 2019, a video began publicly circulating on social media that featured Youssef alongside two young actresses in what some deemed compromising positions. Youssef initially denied that the video was of him, claiming that it was a smear campaign against him by political opponents. Eventually, Youssef acknowledged that he was indeed in the video, but he maintained that it was a private moment that had been leaked without his consent.
The Power Dynamic in the Industry
It’s worth noting that some of the women in the leaked videos were jailed, and Youssef never publicly supported them or defended them against the constant harassment they still receive to this day. Additionally, all the women involved, including others in the industry, claimed that Youssef would force them to have sex by threatening to ruin their careers.
As the biggest director in the region at the time, Youssef held a significant amount of power over these young actresses who were trying to make it in the industry. The power dynamic alone is a form of abuse, regardless of whether he explicitly stated that he would ruin their careers if they refused.
Taking a Stand Against Sexual Harassment and Abuse
Fast forward to 2022, and Youssef is back in Egypt, celebrating the release of his latest project despite the serious allegations against him. Youssef has been welcomed back into the industry with open arms, with some even hailing him as a “genius” director.
It is unacceptable that those in the industry who are supporting Youssef and his latest project are effectively condoning his behavior and sending a message to young actresses that sexual harassment and abuse will be tolerated as long as the abuser is talented enough.
It is time for the entertainment industry in Egypt to take a stand against sexual harassment and abuse and to hold those responsible for such behavior accountable. Youssef’s scandal should serve as a wake-up call, and it is up to those in the industry to ensure that the culture of silence and impunity that has allowed such behavior to continue for far too long is finally brought to an end.
The allegations against Khaled Youssef are serious and should not be taken lightly. Those in the industry who are supporting him should be ashamed of themselves for effectively condoning his behavior. It is time for the entertainment industry in Egypt to take a stand against sexual harassment and abuse and to hold those responsible for such behavior accountable. We must ensure that young actresses are protected and that they know that their talent and hard work, not their willingness to endure sexual harassment and abuse, will determine their success in the industry.