CAIRO: The in-flight magazine of Egypt national airline apologised on Tuesday over an interview with actress Drew Barrymore that sparked an online furore, with many people tweeting their doubt over its authenticity.
The article, riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors, was led with a description of Barrymore as “being unstable in her relationships” and quoted her as saying that motherhood was “the most important role in my life.”
It went viral after it was spotted by a passenger on EgyptAir last week.
While initially the airline stood by its interview, it has now apologised for the error, in a statement, which said it has an agreement with Al-Ahram advertising agency, which edits articles and interviews for the Egyptian carrier’s in-flight magazine, Horus.
According to EgyptAir, the agency is “totally responsible” for the magazine’s editorial content.
The editor-in-chief of Horus magazine and the head of Ahram advertising agency which publishes it released a letter on Tuesday suggesting the problem lay in translating from English to Arabic and back again.
“We apologise for any misunderstanding that might be interpreted as an offence to the great artist,” they wrote.
A separate statement by the advertising agency said the introductory paragraphs of the purported interview were not written by the interviewer, Aida Tekla.
The bylined journalist, Aida Takla, tweeted on October 3 that the magazine may have heavily edited her piece but “this doesn’t negate the fact that the interview with Drew Barrimoor which took place in New York is genuine and far from fake.”
This doesn't negate the fact that the interview with Drew Barrimoor which took place in New York is genuine &far from fake.
As far as Drew we interviewed her several times I saw her grow up before my eyes she is charming and talented.@EGYPTAIR
— Aida (@Aidatakla1) October 3, 2018
The editor and publisher did not directly answer claims the interview had been fabricated but said all material submitted in a foreign language is translated into Arabic and then into English.
EgyptAir’s inflight magazine has Arabic and English sections, but translations are often poor and English-language articles are often filled with errors.
US press reports have quoted Barrymore’s representatives as denying any such interview took place, with some suggesting the author must have based her article on misinterpretations of a press conference.
Barrymore has yet to issue an official statement on the interview, but Al-Ahram said a representative of the actress contacted Tekla about the interview to say that the American actress never spoke to Horus.
The representative did not know that Tekla, a senior member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, contributed to Horus, said the agency.
The article present Barrymore in problematic light saying that Barrymore had failed relationships because her parents divorced.
“It is known that Barrymore had almost 17 relationships, engagements and marriages” psychologists believe that her behaviour is only natural since she lacked the male role model in her life after her parents’ divorce,” Tekla wrote.
In another passage, she quoted Barrymore as being pleased with recent weight loss after having a second daughter.
Another quote describes Barrymore as celebrating women’s achievements in “the West” because they handle tasks men cannot.
“Women exert tremendous efforts that men are incapable of exerting due to their numerous commitments and obligations,” the article quoted Barrymore as saying.