So in an episode of “Raya7 el Madam”, Ahmed Fahmy and Akram Hosny’s skins’ are painted a darker color so they look like black people. People are going frantic on social media saying how this is racist and wondering how could the team behind the show not possibly know that. Doing this is known as ‘blackface’.
Blackface has always been racist and offensive to the black community; since it was used to portray blacks in a negative light, showing that they were inferior to whites.
So understandably, it’s not acceptable to be done now like how it’s not acceptable to use the ‘N’ word. Just because Egyptians are not white, doesn’t make it alright for us to use blackface for comedy. Even if the context was not meant to be racist or to make fun of black people in any way, it’s still racist because of how blackface was used before. It’s simply not appropriate in any context.
There was also in another show “Wahet el Gheroob”, where Maha Nassar plays Ne3ma, a black woman. She’s not portraying the character negatively, but they could have just hired a naturally dark actress.
What makes this worse is that blacks in our community right now are being discriminated against. Sudanese people in Egypt get abused and treated inferior to Egyptians. They can even be called the ‘N’ word in Arabic. And while a lot of Egyptians treat them fairly, sadly, many don’t. Whether they’re employees in a respectable job or are working as domestic helpers, they can still face discrimination.
Bottom line is blackface is unacceptable no matter the context. It doesn’t matter what the intentions were and even if the characters played are very positive and show black people as the most awesome people ever, still, a lot of people get offended and we should respect that and not risk offending anyone.