One of the judges from the singing talent show “Najem Al Saudia” (Star of Saudi Arabia), singer Waed hugged Ahmad Gaseri to congratulate him on winning the title during the finale, which was broadcast live on the channel SBC.
After the footage emerged on social media, many Saudi netizens accused Waed of disrespecting the kingdom’s values and traditions, with some calling on authorities to take action against her:
TWEET: “Respect Saudi society and the country's reputation”.
TWEET: “I can’t believe this, Waed”.
TWEET: "What's happening to people's minds? She must be held accountable over this?"
مالذي يحدث لعقول الناس. يجب محاسبتها— مقدام وقت الاقدام (@sn701501) 9 December 2018
Some, however, rushed to defend the star:
TWEET: “She sees him as her son”.
تشوفه زي ولدها— Ha🇸🇦. (@7__lom) 8 December 2018
TWEET: “This show has been on air for months and no-one even noticed it, but suddenly you're all focused on this clop of Waed with the contestant. Now they're playing their favourite role, calling for her to be punished. This is the only thing they're good at”.