NCI TV channel says presenter suspended amid nationwide criticism of scene with man using mannequin to simulate rape.
A TV channel in Côte d’Ivoire has apologized after broadcasting a show in which a man posing as a former rapist explained how he attacked his victims, using a mannequin for the demonstration.
The programme, which was broadcast in prime time on Monday by private broadcaster Nouvelle Chaine Ivorienne (NCI), sparked a nationwide outcry, including a petition signed by 30,000 people demanding that the presenters be punished.
During the show, host Yves de M’Bella handed his guest a mannequin, smiling, helping him lay it on the floor and asking him to explain in detail how he raped his victims.
At the end of this ‘demonstration’, the man was invited to give women ‘advice’ to prevent rape.
“Please tell me I’m dreaming,” Priss’K, an Ivorian rapper, wrote on Facebook.
“It’s disgusting, unacceptable, disrespectful, especially towards women,” she wrote. “Rape is so humiliating and degrading to the victim.”
Apologies from the TV channel
The petition, addressed to the country’s media regulator and the ministries of communications and youth, called for the show’s cancellation and the sanction of “the presentation team, led by Yves de M’Bella”.
NCI’s management apologized on Tuesday, saying it is “committed to respecting human rights and, in particular, those of women”, and “expressing solidarity with women who are victims of violence and abuse of all kinds”.
NCI took responsibility “for this serious and regrettable mistake,” NCI said De M’Bella had been suspended and the contested episode of the show would not be rebroadcast.
In June, after an in-depth investigation, an NGO called CPDEFM, which campaigns for the rights of children, women and minorities, found that 416 women had been murdered in Abidjan alone over the span of two years.
It also identified 2,000 cases of violence against women, including 1,290 marriages of girls under 18 and 1,121 rapes.