Ivory Coast TV presenter asks guest to simulate rape, suspended after outcry
A television channel in African country Ivory Coast has apologised for broadcasting a show where a convicted rapist was asked to simulate a rape using a mannequin. The presenter of the show, Yves de Mbella, has been suspended, the channel said.
The prime-time show was broadcast on Monday where de Mbella asked his guest to demonstrate how he raped women using a female mannequin.
At one point, a laughing de Mbella even helped the guest adjust the mannequin and asked him how he chose his victims, whether he preferred them "slim or fat" and whether the victims "enjoyed it".
The man was later asked to give women advice to avoid being raped.
The segment was swiftly condemned on social media platforms in Ivory Coast and across West and Central Africa. An online petition was also launched, which has so far received more than 30,000 people who have demanded punishment for the presenter.
“Please tell me I’m dreaming,” Priss’K, an Ivorian rapper, wrote on Facebook.
The country's independent communications council announced the suspension of de Mbella for 30 days, saying in a statement that the segment used obscene language, condoned rape and attacked the dignity of women.
The popular presenter issued an apology in a lengthy Facebook post. "I'm sincerely sorry to have shocked everyone while trying to raise awareness," de Mbella wrote on Facebook. "I made an error."
"I'm also sorry for everything that was said or done during that sequence of the programme that hurt," he wrote. "I beg for forgiveness from all victims of rape."
The Nouvelle Chaine Ivoirienne (NCI) private television station has cancelled the final episode of this particular show which was scheduled to air on Friday.