Egyptian celebrities who backed Mubarak become pariahs

Hannah Allam reports:

Before Egypt’s revolution, Tamer Hosny’s rakish, goateed face was everywhere. His Pepsi billboards dotted the Cairo skyline, his videos played non-stop on music channels, and his catchy love songs were the ringtones of choice for millions of teenage fans.

Then came what Egyptian bloggers, borrowing from American teen parlance, dubbed his “epic fail.”

In a now-notorious phone call to state television, Hosny, 33, the top-selling singer whose nickname is “star of a generation,” professed support for then-President Hosni Mubarak. Speaking early in the uprising, when security forces were tear-gassing and shooting unarmed protesters, Hosny chided Egyptians for turning against their “father.”

Punishment was swift, and forgiveness remains elusive for what many Egyptians viewed as Hosny’s deep betrayal. Protesters ripped down his posters, trashed his CDs and vowed to boycott his music. Four months after Mubarak’s ouster, Hosny is still regarded as an outcast. Last week, Cairo tabloid newspapers reported, a group of young men attacked a film set to stop Hosny from shooting a TV series in their neighborhood. Reports say the pop star has doubled the size of his security staff.

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