Moroccan-born actress Loubna Abidar talked about the problems she faced after playing a prostitute in the film "Much Loved." Abidar said that after the film came out in 2015, her surname became synonymous with the word "whore" in Moroccan society. Speaking on France24 TV on December 30, she talked about the problems faced by women and about social hypocrisy in the Arab world. Abidar received death threats following her role in the film, which was banned in Morocco, and she left the country for France after being attacked in Casablanca in November 2015.
Loubna Abidar: "For over two years, I've been suffering from being labeled a 'whore.' I only played the part of a whore [in the film 'Much Loved'] and did it well. That's it. I am not really a whore. Generally speaking, the Moroccan media confuses my role in a film with reality. They have forgotten that I was an actress before that movie, and that I have played other roles on TV, in cinema, and in theater. But the word 'whore'... To this day, in Morocco, when one person wants to curse another, he calls him 'Abidar.'"
"Why is there such antagonism towards you?"
Loubna Abidar: "Because I am a courageous woman, and the film's script was very powerful. It presented the truth, and we, Arab and Muslims in general, are afraid of the truth about us. We refuse to look at ourselves in the mirror."
France24 TV host: "You deal a lot with issues like sexual harassment, rape, and prostitutes. Why? Does this stem from your personal experience, or from what you have witnessed in Moroccan society?"
Loubna Abidar: "It is enough to be a Muslim woman from a poor family. I lived for 16 years in a poor neighborhood in Marrakesh, and I knew that one of these days I must talk about women and their problems, about social hypocrisy in the Arab world, and about the problems Islam has with women. I have noticed this in my family, with my mother and father, and all around me. When I had the opportunity to become famous, I decided to use my reputation in a way that would benefit me and other women, who are not even aware of their rights."
France24 TV host: "So today your cause is women?"
Loubna Abidar: "Yes, women."