MBC has canceled tomorrow’s Arab Idol auditions in Qatar after an online campaign against the program gained momentum among the local population.
The channel quietly removed the Doha audition listing from its website and a receptionist at the St. Regis Doha, where the auditions were to be held, confirmed to Doha News that the event has been canceled, referring all questions to MBC.
The channel did not respond to immediate requests for comment.
Qataris who found the program distasteful congratulated each other online today for successfully keeping the auditions out of Doha, circulating an Al Sharq article about the cancelation.
Many thanked officials for their help and said the campaign was proof that their voices could be heard.
#عرب_أيدول_في_قطرتم تدمير أحلامهم هكذا يجب أن نكون مؤثرين فيما يؤثر فيناكل الشكر لمن ساهم في إيقاف البرنامجونشكر للمسؤولين إذ سمعوا لنا
— مسفر المسيفري (@bo7amad505) November 14, 2012
— asalalshamare (@asalalshamare) November 14, 2012
Tweeting under the hashtag #عرب_أيدول_في_قطر, netizens had previously told Arab Idol “you are not welcome in Qatar and we do not want to see u here” and asserted that the show’s presence would tarnish Qatar’s reputation as an intellectual and scientific community.
Not everyone, however, opposed the show. On Twitter, other Doha residents had expressed plans to turn out for auditions.
Credit: Cartoon by Mohammed Abdul Latif