A Moroccan state-run television channel has apologized for airing a controversial make-up tutorial instructing women to conceal traces of domestic abuse and “go on with [their] daily lives.”
The segment, broadcasted on Channel 2M, showed a smiling make-up artist casually demonstrating how to cover up black eyes and other marks of beating on a woman whose face was made to appear swollen and battered.
“After the beating, this part is still sensitive, so don’t press,” the host says in Arabic as she applies concealer to the woman’s bruises.
“Make sure to use loose powder to fix the makeup so if you have to work throughout the day, the bruises don’t show,” she continues, before running through the best brands for “heavy coverage.”
“We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life”, she concludes at the end of the segment.
The show was aired two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and drew immediate ire from women in Morocco and elsewhere who accused the channel of “normalizing” domestic violence against women rather than denouncing the practice.
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A Change.org petition was launched requesting an apology and demanding that the Moroccan High Authority of Audiovisual Communication took sanctions against the channel. “Do not cover domestic violence with makeup, condemn the aggressor!” the petition said.
It has garnered thousands of signatures.
The channel eventually issued an official apology before removing the segment from its website.
The statement said: “The management believes that this section is completely inappropriate and was an editorial error of judgement, in view of the sensitivity and the gravity of the subject of violence against women.
“This approach is a complete contradiction with the editorial line of the channel.
“The channel offers its sincerest apologies for this error of judgement.”
But the make-up artist, Lilya Mouline, has since come out in defense of the show’s editorial judgement, saying she never intended to condone violence but merely wanted to offer practical solutions to women coping with an abusive spouse.
“We are here to provide solutions to these women who, for a period of two to three weeks, are putting their social life aside while their wounds heal. These women have already been subjected to moral humiliation and should not have to endure other people staring at them,” Mouline told Yabiladi, a French-speaking Moroccan news website.
“Make-up allows women to continue to live normally while they await for justice.”