Saturday, August 02, 2014


Transmission

No Cross-Dressing Comedians Please, We're Azerbaijani

The Azercell advertisement showing two male comedians in women's clothes has proven too much to stomach for some in Azerbaijan.
The Azercell advertisement showing two male comedians in women's clothes has proven too much to stomach for some in Azerbaijan.
Dressing up as women is something of a stock in trade for Azerbaijani comedians Rafael and Cosqun.

WATCH: Rafael performs to a Lady Gaga song.


But the double act has run into trouble over an advertisement for a major mobile-phone operator in which the two men don blond and brunette wigs twinned with white and black dresses.

The advertisement for Azercell appeared on billboards across Baku and on television.



Girl: "The relationship can't go on this way, I've got to call him and break up."

Comedian: "Right, go ahead and split up with him."

Girl: "If only it were cheaper to call. It costs too much."

Comedian: "Just a minute..."

But not everyone was amused.

Parliament member Fazil Mustafa sharply criticized the actors' cross-dressing, labeling it as contradictory to the Azerbaijani mentality, and last month called on the Baku City Executive Office to take down the billboards.

A couple of weeks later, Mustafa received this response from Azercell:

"The company has investigated and established that there are no laws that would forbid male actors in women's clothing from promoting a company. The 'Azercell' advertisement contained no embarrassing elements and nothing that would cause psychological stress or spoil people's moral atmosphere."

However, the company also noted that the advertising campaign had been halted and the billboards had been taken down.

-- Arife Kazimova
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Regular Joe from: USA
January 11, 2013 19:00
It's funny that a member of parliament is concerned about comedians wearing dresses as part of their comedy routine, and apparently suggests that this comedy indicates that Azerbaijan has gender identity problems in general. What hogwash!

Most likely, parliament member Fazil Mustafa gets a Chris Mathews-like "tingly feeling" when he sees the comedians in drag, and that is what Mustafa really finds disturbing.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 12, 2013 12:10
Poor people of Azerbaijan - how can they only leave without cross-dressing comedians! Aliyev will one day end up having to pay for this heinous crime against his own people. He is just so much worse than Saddam or Gaddafi :-)).
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
January 12, 2013 17:24
As long as the pipe are flowing with Western Companies allowed to rip the fruits of oil fields, if they were not allowed, then cries of dictatorship and terrorist state would of been emulated across the media in the West and elsewhere. Do i really need to give past examples? Nah get your own info...

by: Ben
January 12, 2013 15:32
RFERL-Obama`s accomplices- is irritatated by Azerbaijani regime which is so far from the Muslim traditions of say Muslim Brothers Egypt.Besides they are not the Israel`s enemy and the Russian Friends.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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