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Saudi Crown Prince Fires Entertainment Chief Because Of Tightly Clad Female Circus Performers

Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman fired his entertainment chief due to public backlash after scantily clad circus performers took the stage in the capital city, Riyadh.

A royal decree removed Ahmed al-Khatib of his position as head of the General Entertainment Authority on Monday, reported The Times of Israel Wednesday.

Saudi citizens took to the internet to express their outrage at the clingy leotards of the female Russian circus performers, whose scheduling coincided with Saudi Arabia’s soccer team’s trip to Russia for the World Cup. (RELATED: Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia Recognizes Israel’s Right To Exist)

Saudi Twitter users created a trending hashtag that translates from Arabic into “Naked Russian Women in Riyadh.” A YouTube video of Saudi men reacting to the performers has garnered almost 450,000 views since its posting Saturday.

It is unclear whether all remaining performances by the circus were canceled. (RELATED: ‘Radio Islam’ Founder Says Judaism Is ‘Like A Mafia’ In The West [VIDEO])

The uproar comes as Salman pursues modernizing his country, where women can get in trouble with religious police for wearing grey or navy rather than black abayas, or robes, that cover them almost completely.

Salman came to power in 2017 and has brought several changes, like allowing women to drive and licensing the first movie theater in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. The Entertainment Authority that planned the controversial circus performance was created in 2016 when Saudi Arabia lifted its 20-year ban on musical concerts.

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