A TV grab shows Egyptian actress Shaimaa Youssef appearing in black face on her controversial TV prank show. Image Credit: Screen Grab

Cairo: Egyptian actress Shaimaa Saif, famous for her comic roles, has apologized to the Sudanese people after she outraged them for appearing in black face and portraying a Sudanese woman on a TV prank show.

“My dear Sudanese fans, for sure I didn’t mean to offend you,” the 30-year-old performer said on her Facebook page.

“I’m sorry if the portrayal offended you. I swear by God, I didn’t mean it to be like this. I’m sorry if I disappointed you in a situation for which I shouldn’t be blamed,” she added, arguing that she is a comedian.

The controversial episode was aired this week on the prank show “Shaqlabaz” (Somersault) on the satellite TV station MBC Masr.

Shaimaa’s portrayal of a Sudanese woman, irking bus passengers, soon triggered an outline outcry.

“This is not funny, but racist,” a commentator tweeted. “Next time when when you plan such a work, seek the help of a consultant. If the work is offensive and hurts a group of people, then don’t present it,” another commentator said.

Some Egyptians lashed out at Shaimaa in a display of solidarity with people in neighbouring Sudan.

“We apologize to the Sudanese people for this act. This [Shaimaa] represents herself only,” an Egyptian man, named Jamal Mohammad, said.

TV viewing rates peak during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started last week. In recent weeks, TV prank shows have become popular items of Ramadan entertainment.