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TV Presenter Suspended For Asking Ex-Rapist To Simulate Rape On Dummy Live On Air

by : Hannah Smith on : 01 Sep 2021 09:05
TV Presenter Suspended For Asking Ex-Rapist To Simulate Rape On Dummy Live On Airyvesdembellaloriginal/Instagram/NCI/TV3Monde/YouTube

A TV presenter has been suspended after he asked an ‘ex-rapist’ to demonstrate how he assaulted his victims on prime time television.

Yves de Mbella was forced to apologise for the segment, which aired on Monday, August 30, on the Ivory Coast’s La Nouvelle Chaîne Ivoirienne (NCI) channel. The incident saw Mbella introduce a male guest by describing him as an ‘ex-rapist’, before asking him to simulate rape on a dummy.

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Man asked to demonstrate sexual assault on dummy (NCI/TV3Monde/YouTube)NCI/TV3Monde/YouTube

After his actions caused widespread outcry in the country, Mbella claimed in a Facebook post that he had been ‘trying to raise awareness’ of sexual assault.

A petition circulating online demanding the presenters of the show be punished gathered 37,500 signatures, with the Ivory Coast’s independent communications council later confirming that Mbella had been suspended for the use of ‘obscene language’ that ‘condoned rape’ and ‘attacked the dignity of women’, per The Guardian.

Several prominent Ivorian figures spoke out against the segment, including rapper Priss’K, who wrote on Facebook, ‘Please tell me I’m dreaming, It’s disgusting, unacceptable [and] disrespectful, especially towards women.’

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'Simulated rape' incident receives 37,500 complaints (NCI/Dadaas/YouTube)NCI/Dadaas/YouTube

Following his suspension, Mbella said in a statement:

I’m sincerely sorry to have shocked everyone while trying to raise awareness, I made an error.

I’m also sorry for everything that was said or done during that sequence of the programme yesterday that hurt. I beg for forgiveness from all victims of rape.

NCI also published an apology taking responsibility for the airing of the segment, which it called a ‘serious and regrettable mistake’. Al Jazeera reports that the channel said it was committed ‘to respecting human rights and in particular those of women’, and expressed ‘solidarity with women who are victims of violence and abuse of all kinds’.

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If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Rape, television

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The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Outrage after Ivory Coast TV presenter asks guest to simulate rape