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Time: Fears that Alice in Arabia drums up ugly images of Muslims

television remoteA new television pilot for the ABC Family Channel is already drumming up a lot of buzz on social media, but for the wrong reasons.

Alice in Arabia evolves around an American girl kidnapped by her extended Saudi Arabian family and becomes a virtual prisoner in her grandfather’s royal compound.

It’s tough enough seeing yourself portrayed constantly as a terrorist in both news and Hollywood, but now you have to be a kidnapper too?

It sort of like images of Chinese Americans constantly being portrayed as members of the underground crime syndicate or a Chinatown gang.

This one tweet is pretty straight to the point.

According to Variety, Muslim American civil rights groups are also voicing their concern.

“We are concerned that, given media references to the main character ‘surviving life behind the veil,’ the pilot and any resulting series may engage in stereotyping that can lead to things like bullying of Muslim students,” CAIR-LA exec director Hussam Ayloush said in a statement. “We urge ABC Family Channel to meet with representatives of the Muslim and Arab-American communities to discuss this important issue.”

ABC Family asks that people wait to see the show before judging.

“We hope people will wait to judge this show on its actual merits once it is filmed. The writer is an incredible storyteller and we expect ‘Alice’ to be a nuanced and character driven show.”

You can read more about this controversy in both Time and Variety,


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