News ID : 150925
Publish Date : 9/9/2023 7:20:21 PM
"Suspicions" regarding the frequent absence of "fake Joans of Arc" of Persian-language media


"Suspicions" regarding the frequent absence of "fake Joans of Arc" of Persian-language media

The questionable ending of “Sima Sabet” and its prospects in “Iran International” once again brought to life the series of sexual harassment of women by managers of Persian-language media, women such as Parisa Saharkhiz, Pooneh Ghoddoosi, Shabnam Raisi and Tanaz Khame. Women who, after years of working in media such as “Manoto”, “BBC Persian” and “Iran International”, sometimes leave the said media quietly and sometimes openly.

NOURNEWS- Another name was added to the long list of women who were abused in the Persian-language media and preferred to escape. “Zahra Shahraki”, with pseudonym “Sima Sabet”, who was the host of “Cheshmdanaz” program on “Iran-International” media outlets, announced the end of her TV show and also the termination of her cooperation with the said media by publishing a vague explanation.

She, who had joined Iran International since 2018, after 5 years of cooperation with this network, published a post on “X” or formerly known as Twitter and wrote: I resigned from Iran International TV and the closure and termination of the program “Cheshmandaz with Sima Sabet”. I had to choose between working in a special conditions or human dignity, I chose the former.

At the same time as this silent farewell, a screenshot of a private conversation attributed to her was published, in which it is claimed that Sima Sabet was sexually harassed by one of the male presenters of Iran International.

Although she has not yet commented on the authenticity of this leaked chat, this sudden and suspicious ending by one of the presenters who was a regular on Persian-language TV channels such as “BBC Persian” and Iran International, has once again, opened the not-so-old special cases of women and Persian-language media; women such as Parisa Saharkhiz, Pooneh Ghoddoosi, Shabnam Raisi and Tanaz Khame. Women who, after years of working in media such as “Manoto”, “BBC Persian” and “Iran International”, sometimes leave the said media quietly and sometimes openly.

Sometimes someone like Parisa Saharkhiz, who started her career in “Manoto” TV channel with the claim of covering women's concerns and issues, does not accept silence and announces that she did not agree unlike other managers and her colleagues in “Manoto” to have sexual relationships outside the marital framework, because of this, she had to leave her job, and sometimes someone like “Pooneh Ghoddoosi” cut off the voice of the audience who asked her on the live line whether the stories regarding Sadeq Saba raping her was true or not, just to end this issue with silence.

Someone like “Nafiseh Kohnavard” considers such relationships as normal, and someone like Sima Sabet talks about it with sarcasm. Hacking Facebook, removing a presenter from the media and presenting deviant topics after every revelation is also among the tricks of the media owners and powerful behind-the-scenes supporters who do not allow the series of sexual harassment of women on Persian-language media, which above all speak for the slogan such as “freedom” and “women's freedom”, to attract the attention of public opinion towards these cases. However, the last episode of this series, that is, the apparently self-solicited and voluntary removal of the host of Iran International, once again raised the questions that Persian-language channels that are trying to hide their subversive and separatist nature under the disguise of professional work of the media and their common priority is “freedom of expression” and “women's freedom”, what is their track record in the field of women? Why were none of the women, who by their own admission were under the pressure of illegitimate and immoral demands from their managers and colleagues, allowed to defend their basic rights in the workplace? Why is it that in the media proclaiming “freedom of expression”, every question about this matter is censured and silenced instead of being answered by managers and presenters? And the more serious question is why the female anchors and reporters of these media, who always claim to pursue women's rights, despite their loud voice in demanding other’s rights, quietly lower the shutter of their program and say goodbye without shedding light on any of these matters?

Probably, in a few days, the dramatic story of the anchor of Iran International will be lost in a mass of small and coarse news, but it is unlikely that Sima Sabet will be the last “fake Joan of Arc” of Persian-language media who had no way but to escape!

Although managers and political stakeholders of Persian-language media have tried to survive these self-made scandals either by “respectful dismissals” or by diverting public opinion with other issues, but the decline of audiences and the reduction of scope of the influence of these networks has plagued them after every scandal; A recent example was Iran International's focusing on a fake survey after the controversy matters regarding the Sima Sabet.

An alleged survey was conducted by a center called “Gamaan”, which is said to be based in the Netherlands, and it claims that after contacting 38,000 Iranian citizens, it came to the conclusion that more than half of the society “most of the time” or “Sometimes” they view or listen to Iran International media. In this survey, which seems to be more of an opinion game, it is claimed that the audience of Persian language televisions trust Iran International more than media such as “Voice of America”, “Radio Farda” and “BBC Persian”. Announcing the results of this survey under the current circumstances, rather than being published with the aim of showing the popularity of Iran International, on the one hand, it can clear the recent controversy from the public minds, and on the other hand, it is a part of the “illusory reference” competition among the Persian-language media; It was on this basis that Zarifi wrote in “X” or the former Twitter, sarcastically about the name and accuracy of the Gamaan Center survey: “Someone was asked whether it is called Gamaan (means suspect in English) or the Gomaan (means suspicion in English) and he said: I suspect, the suspicion is true”!

BY: Mohammad Ghaderi 


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