Memo to Ryan Gosling and Jon Hamm: Steer clear of Riyadh.
According to a story in The Telegraph based on a report from the Arabic news site Elaph, three male delegates from the United Arab Emirates were recently asked to leave a cultural festival in the Saudi capital and subsequently deported back to Abu Dhabifor the crime of being too good-looking.
According to the report, religious police officers removed the men from the Janadriyah Festival of Heritage and Culture, "on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them."
Since when are devastating good looks an actual crime? In this conservative, largely Sunni Muslim nation, women are not only forbidden from driving cars, but are also not allowed to interact with men they’re not related to—and "interacting” presumably includes swooning.
In a warped bit of what’s-forbidden-for-the-goose-is-forbidden-for-the-gander, the UAE released a statement explaining that the religious police were also none too pleased to see an “unnamed” female Emirati pop star who had stopped by unannounced at the UAE’s festival booth; according to other reports, her presence had inspired a seemingly besotted Saudi cop to bum-rush the booth, before being removed himself.