“Criteria will be set for the clothes to be worn by actresses at festivals after this crisis,” Omar Abdul Aziz, the head of Egypt’s Artistic Syndicates Union, said Sunday night.
“This is part of an approach aimed at addressing mistakes within the concerned professional union,” he concluded.
While criticising Rania’s dress, Abdul Aziz, who is a veteran film director, voiced disappointment at taking the actress to court where she faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
“Matters should not get to the point of dragging actors to court and jailing them because of an address,” he added.
A Cairo court has set a 12 January 2019 date to try Rania Yousuf on charges of public obscenity after she showed up at the festival’s closing ceremony wearing the dress deemed provocative.
The popular actress sparked uproar in mostly conservative Egypt over her dress, made up of a tight black bodice and a see-through lacy overlay that exposed her legs.
Several lawyers filed complaints against the actress, accusing her of inciting debauchery, promoting vice and infringing society’s morals.
The actress later made a public apology. “It was the first time I wore it and did not expect it to cause so much anger,” she said in an online statement. “I re-emphasize my commitment to moral values on which we have been brought up in Egyptian society.”
The Acting Professions Syndicate, a union in charge of actors in Egypt, expressed dismay at what it called “unjustified escalation” against the actress.
The union said that sending the actress to the court was a “very dangerous” move. “It is disproportional the unintentional act [the dress wearing] and harms the atmosphere of freedom, “it added in a statement late Sunday.
The union said it will send a team of defence lawyers at Rania’s trial that opens on January 12.