American films and TV programs post September 11th have reinforced screen images of Muslims and Arabs as fanatics and villains, argues author Jack Shaheen. Shaheen, in his book Guilty — Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs after 9/11, praises some post Sept. 11th films for offering more sympathetic images of Muslims and Arabs, but argues that much work is needed in the industry to change the Hollywood castigation of them for decades. Shaheen claims that across all genres of film – from action, to children’s movies, to romantic comedies, that the film industry has perpetuated damaging stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. […] The images have remained primarily fixed and have only been changed in the sense that they have become more vindictive and damaging.” Shaheen says that there is no authority, or political leader, or Hollywood personalities that have taken a stand, and that this kind of castigation is no different than demonizing Jews or blacks or Asians or any other racial or ethnic group.

Share Button