Iranian state TV has temporarily banned the country’s equivalent of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” after complaints by senior clerics.
Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that game-shows endanger the “culture of hard work and productivity” that the country seeks to encourage.
Now a senior Shia cleric has issued a fatwa against shows like “Be a Winner” that offer cash prizes. Gambling is banned in Iran.
Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi’s fatwa targets shows that offer cash rewards to viewers and participants. Makarem-Shirazi called them a form of “gambling” and “games of chance” and stressed that they were forbidden under Islamic law.
The show gives contestants the chance to win up to 1bn Iranian rials (about $25,000) and allows audiences to win money by participating at home via an app.
News agencies criticised state-broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for “running a halal casino” by running these lottery-style competitions for viewers.The IRIB said it was launching an enquiry into TV shows that engage in similar practices.
Media in the country reported that Be a Winner would be off the air for at least a week, while state television executives said they would work to change the show’s sponsorship.
Another Millionaire-style show, Five Stars, also told fans on Instagram that the show would not be broadcast his week, but offered no further explanation.