TV Host Fired Over Her ‘Inappropriate’ Outfit During Live Broadcast

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School and work dress codes have become a point of contention, creating controversy as they allegedly target women disproportionately. When enforcing standards on attire, those in positions of authority are accused of “policing women’s bodies.” Yet, when a TV host was fired over her allegedly “inappropriate” outfit during a live broadcast, many felt she deserved it. Do you agree?

Amal Al Awadhi
Amal Al-Awadhi (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Amal Al-Awadhi, a 29-year-old television game show host, was performing a live episode of a Kuwaiti game show on a state-run TV channel in 2018 when she heard controllers being ordered to stop the broadcast immediately while she was still live on the air. Much to the young TV star’s disbelief, she was then fired from her job as a game show host during the live broadcast just two minutes before the show ended.

Amal Al-Awadhi was allegedly terminated because viewers had an issue with her outfit. After critics had taken to social media to complain that the host’s dress was inappropriate, a Kuwaiti government official reportedly called managers at the government-owned channel and demanded that the show be taken off air, according to the Daily Mail.

While the website admits that it was not confirmed whether the person who ordered Amal Al-Awadhi off the air was indeed a government official, she was terminated during the live episode, according to Step Feed. The outlet does add that it was “unconfirmed whether the presenter’s clothes are all that led to her suspension,” but the timing was definitely suspicious.

Regardless of who gave the order, Amal Al-Awadhi was fired after a number of viewers complained online about the dress she wore during the live broadcast, which her critics claimed was inappropriate for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. For those unaware, Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community during which practicing and healthy adult Muslims refrain from food and drink from dawn until sunset.

Amal Al Awadhi
Amal Al-Awadhi in the dress in question (Photo Credit: Twitter)

The dress in question was conservative by American standards. The cream-colored lace dress passed the host’s knees, leaving only a small portion of her lower leg and ankles exposed. The top was equally modest, with sleeves extending almost to the young woman’s elbow.

Having taken great care to be respectful of the Muslim holy month, the game show host was baffled as to why anyone took offense to her attire. “Because my show was airing during Ramadan, I was extra cautious about not going against any of our traditions,” the 29-year-old actress explained. “I took care of what I wore and how I spoke,” she added.

“I heard someone saying, ‘Take Amal Al-Awadhi off [the] air now, or I’ll shut down the channel,'” she recalled as she took to Snapchat after her termination. Although the actress admitted that she was not told why she was being fired from her hosting job, several social media users chimed in, siding with her critics and saying her dress should have been more modest.

While some did defend Amal Al-Awadhi’s choice of clothing, quite a few were all for the decision to fire her as news of her suspension dominated Kuwaiti Twitter following her live termination, according to Step Feed, which quoted her critics as saying, “She deserves to be suspended, her clothes aren’t fit for such a program. TV presenters must be modest during Ramadan,” and, “She 100 percent deserves it.”

One social media user did come to Amal Al-Awadhi’s defense, pointing out how Kuwaiti TV hosts dressed in the 1970s. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Of course, there were those who raised another, yet controversial point of view, such as this one: “The entire Amal Al-Awadhi incident and what happened to her live on air is bizarre, vague and would never happen except in regressive, dictatorial countries!!! What age are we living in? Shame on the person who called to report her, shame on those who stopped her show live on air and shame on Kuwait TV.”

The latter point of view seems to be consistent with the sentiments of many Americans, who see no issue with the dress but form their opinions largely based on our own culture and definitions of “modesty.” However, this incident took place in a country much different than our own, as the remark seemingly points out.

AI-created image for “traditional Muslim woman during Ramadan” for visual representation only

Like others in the Middle East, Kuwait is a Muslim country, with its constitution declaring Islam the state religion. While the 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom explains that Kuwait’s constitution declares freedom of belief is “absolute,” it stipulates that the state only protects the freedom to practice one’s religion “provided such practice does not conflict with established customs, public policy, or morals.” This results in rules and expectations for public conduct that are much different than those we enjoy in the U.S., where religious freedom prevails.

So, while we see prudent attire, others see an insult to Islam, whose Ramadan dress code advises people to wear clothes that cover the shoulders, torso, and knees while also avoiding any tight, short, low-cut, or revealing clothing. While I personally don’t agree with the decision to terminate Amal Al-Awadhi, whose attire I view as modest, I’m also blessed enough to be living in a country where I am not only permitted to say so but that also doesn’t enforce a state religion or have state-run television—at least not yet, and hopefully, it never will.