Despite the controversy and the attack on the actors of the movie, As7ab wala A3az (Perfect Strangers) is the #1 most-watched film in Egypt, KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, Morroco, Bahrain, Oman, and #2 in France.
The film has been met with major backlash in the Middle East, especially in Egypt, with concerns over the normalization of the LGBTQ+ community and going against Egyptian values and morals.
Politicians have been vocal about their displease of the film, and some are even asking to remove the film from Netflix. Yes, Netflix; the subscription-based platform that no one is forced to subscribe to if they disagree with their beliefs.
The controversy went as far as a viral campaign attacking the actress Mona Zaki, with some even asking the syndicate to ban the actress because of her role. However, it’s also important to note that the men in the movie are not receiving as much backlash, with most comments going for extremely misogynistic comments.
Earlier today, Dr. Ashraf Zaki, head of the Actors’ Syndicate, released a statement in support of Zaki stating:
The Actors Syndicate closely followed all the reactions shared in the media and social media networks and some opinions from political figures (individually or representing their parties), all of which revolved around the movie “Perfect Strangers,” which was co-starred by the Egyptian actress Mona Zaki, a syndicate member.
And as a result of this follow-up, the syndicate emphasizes basic principles, the most important of which are:
First – Preserving the freedom of art and creativity in a civil country that believes in freedom is an essential part of the conscience of Egyptian artists, which is protected and defended by the syndicate.
Second – The Syndicate will not stand idly by in front of any verbal assault or attempt to intimidate any Egyptian artist or undermine him as a result of an artwork he contributed to with its author and director.
Third: The Syndicate, which is keen on the original values of the Egyptian society, assures that the role of the arts and soft powers is to address thorny issues and sound the alarm on many phenomena that may infiltrate our society. The role of art in general and acting art in particular.
The syndicate calls on everyone not to be exposed to the artists who are members of the syndicate just because they participate in a work that some may agree or disagree on.