Anaheim, CA: The Greater Los Angeles-Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council have welcomed the decision by ABC Family channel to cancel plans to produce a pilot for a new series called "Alice in Arabia."
"We welcome ABC Family channel's decision to respond to community concerns by canceling plans for a program that had the potential to promote ethnic and religious stereotyping," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "We thank all those who voiced their concerns on this issue, and particular thanks go to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council."
Ayloush said CAIR-LA worked closely with both organizations in discussions with ABC Family channel. He also thanked the many activists who took to social media to voice their outrage using #AliceinArabia.
MPAC: According to an MPAC message the "Muslim Public Affairs Council welcomes ABC Family's decision to abandon its controversial new pilot 'Alice in Arabia.' Since the Hollywood Reporter first reported on Monday that ' Alice in Arabia ' was one of three new pilots purchased by the network, the social media outcry quickly escalated.
"MPAC's Hollywood Bureau has been in dialogue with Disney/ABC's Talent Development and Diversity Department since the story broke to address the show’s disturbing premise. We appreciate the department’s commitment to engagement, openness to feedback, and recognition of the need for immediate action. The plot reportedly revolved around an all-American girl who is kidnapped by her distant Saudi Arabian grandfather and held in his Saudi compound, and was loaded with negative and stereotypical depictions of Arabs and Muslims.
"We commend ABC Family for doing the right thing,” said Deana Nassar, MPAC's Hollywood Liaison. “The network and the diversity development department responded quickly and decisively to our feedback and the public outcry over ‘Alice in Arabia.’ This episode underscores the need for more constructive engagement with Hollywood executives as well as authentic and talented Muslim writers to tell their own stories."
We recently announced a partnership with ABC/Disney to offer a special workshop to emerging Muslim television writers in order to groom young writers to be competitive for ABC's writers program. We were pleased to have received dozens of scripts and look forward to investing in talent that can help turn the tide in portrayals.
MPAC’s Hollywood Bureau serves as a professional resource to the entertainment industry by providing reliable and accurate information on Islam, Muslims and interfaith relations to the Hollywood community. The bureau also helps Hollywood professionals connect with creative talent, including emerging Muslim filmmakers, writers and actors.