MUST SEE TV: ‘TYRANT’ premiers June 24th on FX TV.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/20/14) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim rights and advocacy organization, today asked reviewers to address stereotyping of Arab and Muslim culture inherent in the new FX Network series “Tyrant” due to air June 24.
CAIR’s request comes following a screening of the pilot in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday and follows an earlier request for a meeting with network officials to discuss potential stereotypes in the series. (Which was ignored by the officials)
“Tyrant” follows the journey of a California physician who is also the son to the dictator of a fictional Middle Eastern country. In the pilot, the son and his family return home after a self-imposed 20 year exile. The pilot was shot in Morocco, while the series will be produced in Israel.
In the pilot of FX’s ‘Tyrant,’ Arab Muslim culture is devoid of any redeeming qualities and is represented by terrorists, murderous children, rapists, corrupt billionaires, and powerless female victims,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, who attended Wednesday night’s screening. “In ‘Tryant,’ even the ‘good’ Arab Muslims are bad.”
He said the producers of the series claim that it is merely a reflection of the brutal actions of dictators like Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad and Muammar Gaddafi. “Unfortunately, ‘Tyrant’ will be seen by many viewers as an indictment of an entire culture.”
As an Entertainment Weekly reviewer noted:
“Khaled is your classic Big Bad, a guy who trains his children to kill and leaves his son to burn in a terrorist attack. Bassam’s older brother, Jamal (Ashraf Barhom), is the arrogant monster you’d expect, slicing one of his detractors with a razor, raping whomever he pleases, and blasting terrible classic-rock anthems from his flashy sports car. …The problem is that so far they’re stock characters. Maybe that’s an unfortunate side effect of setting the show in Abbudin, a distant desert land that seems to borrow its real-life events from Egypt, Syria, and Libya. When you give your country a fake Middle Eastern name, you risk turning it into a stand-in for all Middle Eastern countries.” (And that’s a BAD thing because why?)