In further “Don’t Mess With the Middle East” news:
An American man has been sentenced to a year in a Dubai prison after a painfully unfunny — although it might be we just don’t get the regional hilarity of it — YouTube video was posted. Shezanne Cassim, 29, an aviation consultant, was slapped with the prison time and a $2700 fine after he posted a video to YouTube last April. The 19-minute-long video, which is still available on YouTube, is called “Ultimate Combat System: The Deadly Satwa G’s” and focuses on the supposed martial art of one affluent UAE neighborhood. The video, which UAE officials say mocks the culture — an apparent no-no — has attracted the attention of some bigwigs in media including Funny or Die’s Adam McKay and Will Ferrell who posted a video asking for clemency for the American along with the Twitter code #FreeShez that raises legal defense funds.
It is not clear if the man, who was jailed along with several of his cohorts in the video, would still be in trouble if the video was actually funny instead of terrible and long. This isn’t the first time someone has gotten in trouble for posting something to YouTube that has made light of the Middle Eastern culture: in 2012, a filmmaker was jailed for an “anti-Muslim” film that resulted in rioting and over 50 deaths.
Here’s more death and chaos from YouTube: