Syrian actor Hussein Mer'ei recently became the topic of discussion in Tunisia after his nude appearance in a play at the 20th edition of the Carthage Theatrical Days Festival.
According to Arabic Post, the incident took place on Monday during the performance of a Syrian-German play titled "Ya Kbeer."
The nude scene, which lasted 30 minutes, prompted hundreds to leave the country's Municipality Theater. However, audience members were reportedly notified that the work of art was exclusively for adults prior to the show.
The performance follows the perilous journey of Syrians seeking asylum outside their homeland.
The play's director issued a statement amid the intense online backlash
Audience members - who were shocked by the scene - did not shy away from snapping photos and posting them online.
"The scene isn't sexual and aims to reflect the reality of how things escalated in Syria. It aims to portray the violations, insanity, hysteria, and attacks."
The theater festival's director has since spoken out about the incident
In a statement to Youm 7, Hatem Derbal, the director of Carthage Theatrical Days Festival, said officials had no idea a nude scene would be featured in the play.
"The festival's management team cannot be held accountable over what this actor did in the spur of a moment. This scene wasn't included in the play's script and was improvised," he said.
"This performer surprised his co-star and the play's director with what he did. When we were presented with the play, this scene wasn't shown to us. It also wasn't featured at the time the play was performed in Germany," he added.
Derbal also explained that this incident will not affect the run of this year's festival, which is set to wrap up on Dec. 17.