Abu Dhabi: The “Cairo Show” theatre has cancelled Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred’s concert, scheduled for December, and removed all its advertisements, after a campaign launched against him over rape allegations, local media reported.
The Moroccan singer was targeted by a huge campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to cancel his concert because he is involved in multiple rape lawsuits in different countries including France and the US.
“Cairo Show” deleted all of Lamjarred’s concert posters and marketing campaigns on their official social media accounts a few hours after the concert’s tickets were also made unavailable on “Ticketsmarche”.
People opposed to Lamjarred’s concert launched Arabic hashtags: #Saad_Lamjarred_Rapist”, and “#We_don’t_want_Lamjarred _in_Egypt”, which are trending in Egypt.
One activist said: “A country that has been going through a wave of scandals and incidents of sexual harassment and rape welcomes a serial rapist .. An accused in international rape lawsuits .. The organisers of such a concert are extremely stupid.”
Another social media user @therapewhistle2 said: “Why of all the singers out there, you’d pick a long accused serial rapist to perform in Egypt amidst the Egyptian women’s #MeToo movement.”
Celebrities took part and supported the social media campaign against Lamjarred including Mayan El Sayed and Aida El Kashef.
The 35-year-old is already on bail over an alleged rape case dating back to 2016 and was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of another assault.
His hit Lmaallem is the most-viewed song by an Arab artist on YouTube.
It has been viewed more than 650 million times.
Lamjarred was first arrested on suspicion of beating and raping a woman in New York in 2010. He fled the US while on bail and has not returned since.
Six years later, he was accused of physically assaulting and raping a young French woman in a hotel in Paris. He was released on bail with an electronic tag in April 2017 awaiting trial.
Shortly before his release, French newspaper Le Parisien reported that a French-Moroccan woman had been physically assaulted by Lamjarred in the Moroccan city of Casablanca two years earlier.
She said she reported the incident to the police but later withdrew the complaint under pressure from her family.
What has the reaction been?
Perhaps surprisingly in the age of #MeToo, previous cases against Lamjarred have done little to damage his reputation among fans.
When the singer was arrested in 2016, the Moroccan king himself intervened to cover the singer’s legal fees.
Many of Lamjarred’s fans maintain the singer was the victim of a “plot” by neighbouring Algeria, which has strained relations with Morocco.
Moroccan media even showed footage of small protests “in solidarity” with the singer during his detention.
The first song he released one year after the alleged incident - and dedicated to the king - showed just how popular he remained, gaining over 140m views.