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Controversy in Jordan over TV song demeaning domestic workers

19-11-2020

The Jordanian children’s channel, Karameesh, broadcasted recently a song “the servant”, sang by a young girl about the domestic worker who tries to escape from the house and constantly asking for money for her sick daughter. This video has sparked wide condemnation on social media, where many considered it as laden with abhorrent racism, disrespect and incitement against domestic workers. Following the angry backlash and a barrage of denunciations, the channel took the video clip down from its official accounts after claiming to have hit six million views. It also posted an apology explaining that the content looks at the treatment of “housemaids” by a specific segment of society and some of these workers actually escape from homes. The statement went on to say, that the clip sheds light on this particular issue, especially the behavior of these “servants” in their employers’ homes. “We removed the video immediately after we saw the angry reactions of viewers,” it concluded. However, the channel made a bigger mistake when it clarified its position on the use of the term “servant” in the video, which prompted even stronger criticism and fiery comments again. Over and above, the topic is neither appropriate for children, nor it is instructive, and does not point the finger at treating domestic workers with an attitude of superiority. (An Nahar, November 19, 2020)

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