The president of the National Council for Regulation of Audiovisual (CNRA), Babacar Diagne, convened on Sunday, April 18, 2021, at the headquarters of the institution, the initiators of the television series “Thieuy Adji Sarr”, become “Baline Coumba”. Serigne Modou Diop, producer of the series, and Abdou Aziz Niane, the screenwriter, were present at this meeting of explanations on the meaning and the content of this play intended for the Senegalese public. At the end of the exchanges, the institution in charge of media control decided to suspend the series, the original title of which referred to a case pending before the courts.
In the presence of Germain Coly, director of Cinematography, and Pape FAYE, president of the Association gathering the Artists and Actors of Senegal (ARCOTS), the CNRA has called to order the producers of the series, “Thieuy Adji Sarr”, whose trailer generated a wave of reactions. The Senegalese netizens took advantage of this artistic production to severely attack Adji Sarr, the 21-year-old masseuse who accused the main Senegalese opponent, Ousmane Sonko, of rape and death threats. “The multiform reactions in the public space have not been ignored, either by the speakers in the series or by the National Council for Regulation of the Audiovisual”, suggests the CNRA in the statement published following the meeting.
This is the main reason why the title of the series was changed. But since the content remains the same, “Baline Coumba” will not be broadcast, indeed because, from the outset, it evokes a sensitive subject currently in the hands of justice. The CNRA welcomed the understanding of producers who measure the effect of such a series on the complainant’s image and the work of the justice system. “It didn’t take long for the main players involved in production, both upstream and downstream, to agree on what to do with Baline Coumba. The screenplay (provisionally) withdrawn from the broadcast, will be reviewed by the author with the producer’s agreement, in collaboration with the director of the Cinematography”, added the CNRA.
Adji Sarr is the young masseuse who worked at the salon named Sweet Beauté, in the Senegalese capital. On the night of 2-3 February 2021, she accused Senegalese MP and opponent Ousmane Sonko of rape and death threats. The leader of the Pastef party was charged and placed under judicial supervision. But this accusation, which was considered misleading and political by the person concerned, was the cause of a series of violent demonstrations in the country causing the death of 14 young Senegalese citizens. The trial is still pending since the release, on 8 March 2021, of the candidate who came third in the last presidential election. Thus, out of caution, the CNRA does not want to allow the fire to burn.