SBS TV who are a part of ProSiebenSat.1 AG Media, which is the second largest broadcast company in Europe with over 77 million recievers in 13 different countries, has decided that they will not air the Danish/Egyptian comedian Omar Marzouk’s series called “The Cell (Danish title: Cellen)”. Originally the series was named “The Terror Cell (Orig.Title: Terrorcellen)” but SBS got that changed, after awhile they decided they would not air it on their more popular Channel 5, but on their less seen Channel 6.
As the series was closing in on the date on where it would be aired, the makers of the series were asked to censor away some of their more controversial scenes. For example there is alledgely a scene where someone throws up on a bunch of Qurans, if that scene actually exists I cannot get confirmed or unconfirmed.
Eventually they pulled the plug, as they said, “Want to evaluate the terror risk.”
This would be fine if it was not because of one “minor” fact. The series is also financed by public money from the Danish Institute of Movies, with 4.5 million DKK (~0.9 mio US$) and because of that SBS TV has to live up to certain agreements, such as, atleast 50% of the Danish population must be able to watch it, no radical changes in the content of the series are allowed, and lastly the series most be shown within a year.
So far SBS TV has lived up to none of these agreements.
Omar Marzouk is supposely angry at SBS TV, and rightfully so in my opnion. As he said, he is not out ot create a new Muhammed Cartoon Crisis, but rather open a dialogue.
In my opnion, the most effective tool we got against religious fundamentalism, is humour. If we cannot laugh at how silly they are, what else can we do?
SBS TV can be contacted at http://www.sbstv.dk/kontaktpersoner feel free to tell them what you think.