'Scantily dressed' J-Lo offends Moroccan prime minister

Agence France-Presse
Jennifer Lopez performs on stage during a music festival in Rabat on May 29, 2015.

A Moroccan regulator said Tuesday it rejected a request to sanction a television channel for broadcasting a "scantily dressed" American pop star Jennifer Lopez at a concert in the highly conservative Muslim country.

The request from Islamist Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane came after Lopez sparked controversy over her performance before record crowds at the annual Mawazine music festival in May.

Media criticized her for her "suggestive poses" and for being "scantily" dressed during a show broadcast on public television channel 2M.

Government spokesman Mustapha Khalfi, a member of the ruling Justice and Development party, strongly denounced the broadcast, saying it was "unacceptable and goes against broadcasting law."

Following that, Benkirane sent a letter to the High Audiovisual Communication Authority (HACA) urging it to take action.

He called for sanctions against the channel's management, saying the performance had "sexual connotations" and provoked the "religious and moral values of the country."

But HACA rejected the request, saying on its website that such actions were outside its remit.

According to the Mediterranean Network of Regulatory Authorities, HACA's mission is to "ensure ... the respect of universal principles of pluralism and information objectivity, as well as the values of Moroccan civilisation."