Bedouin family files police complaint over TV star’s racist video of kids

Children’s relatives say Roy Boy filmed children without permission, humiliated them in clip in which he asked his own offspring if they wanted to ‘feed’ them

Ayman (L) and Muhammad al-Jahalin who were in a video made by children's entertainer 'Roy Boy,' July 13, 2020 (Screen grab/Channel 13 news)
Ayman (L) and Muhammad al-Jahalin who were in a video made by children's entertainer 'Roy Boy,' July 13, 2020 (Screen grab/Channel 13 news)

The family of two Bedouin children who featured in a video made by a popular Israeli children’s entertainer, in which he is seen treating them like animals, on Tuesday filed a police complaint against him.

The complaint was filed by relatives of Ayman and Muhammad al-Jahalin and accused Roy Oz, known popularly as “Roy Boy,” of racism, humiliating behavior, and photographing and publishing images of minors without permission, Channel 13 news reported.

In the five-year-old video published Saturday on the TikTok platform, Oz, heard but not seen, filmed as he sat in a car with his family and the two then-young Bedouin children stood outside.

He held a cookie up to the lens, then turned to his own young children in the back seat and repeatedly asked them if they wanted to feed the children outside.

“Let’s feed a Bedouin. Don’t you want to feed a Bedouin?” he said.

He then offered the cookie to the children, who went on to ask for money. He asked them how much they wanted: “A thousand shekels?” The children replied that they wanted “ten shekels” or even a single agora, worth about 1/4 cent. Oz was heard laughing and the video ended.

Oz later admitted that it was him in the video, apologizing repeatedly and expressing “deep regret” for it.

Oz — who has made numerous children’s television shows and films, mostly focused on nature, and who has starred in various stage productions geared toward children — said in a Facebook post that the video was taken some five years ago during a family trip. It wasn’t clear how the video surfaced now.

In an interview with Channel 13 news, the elder boy, Ayman, now 12, said he was embarrassed by the video.

Children’s entertainer Roy Oz, also known as ‘Roy Boy,’ in a 2015 clip (YouTube screenshot)

“People say I collect charity,” he said.

The boys’ father, Lafi al-Jahalin, said the incident had led to judgment of his parenting by others.

“Not only did [Oz] humiliate me, but everyone who watched the video humiliates me. Everyone says: ‘How does he throw his kids onto the street? How does their mother neglect them?’ But I do not throw my children onto the streets. I am a human being and I have respect.

“A person like him should be tried in court,” al-Jahalin said. “He humiliated me, my children and their childhood. I will not welcome him even if he apologizes.”

The clip sparked outrage, with MK Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List calling it “the lowest of human behavior, racist and despicable brutishness.”

Atia al-Asem, head of the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, lamented the “shocking” video, adding that the Bedouin children were treated like “monkeys.”

Yair Maayan, director-general of the Authority for the Development and Settlement of the Bedouin, condemned “the wretched and demeaning video shamefully uploaded by a pathetic man who educates his children in racism.”

The Racism Crisis Center said the video “demonstrates the ugly racist education some Israelis choose to provide their children,” and added that it “illustrates racist discourse that is unfortunately not uncommon toward Bedouin society, and the message is passed from generation to generation.”

Children’s entertainer Roy Oz, also known as ‘Roy Boy’ seen during a protest in Tel Aviv on July 11, 2020 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Junior Channel said Sunday it would halt filming of the next season of “Roy Boy” due to the video.

“Behavior of this type is completely unacceptable to the channel,” a spokesperson for the network said in a statement.

While noting that Oz had apologized, the statement said he would meet with the network’s management in the coming days to discuss “the future of cooperation” between them.

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