By Keertana Sastry – University of Missouri graduate
After just one season, TLC has cancelled its controversial new show about the lives of Lebanese Muslim American families in Michigan after a disappointing drop in viewers.
When the show premiered, it was instantly met with controversy from the Florida Family Association who attacked as “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”
Hardware company Lowe’s dropped its advertising from the show and prompted Christian and Muslim groups to come together and protest the corporation. Ever after a petition to reinstate the advertising by over 200,000 people, Lowe’s still refused.
How does this instill any hope in American networks to broadcast lives of normal, everyday Americans who just happen to have a different religion or culture? If a show about American Muslims can’t work on a network like TLC which is built for all sorts of reality TV (The Virgin Diaries and 19 Kids And Counting anyone?), where else will we ever get to see it?
To be fair, I’m not Muslim – I’m Hindu. But this type of bias and prejudice affects all of us.
And it’s not just reality. When NBC ordered Outsourced in 2010, there was definite protest to the show for carelessly depicting a comedy about Americans losing their jobs to Indians because its cheaper.
While Outsourced was actually a pretty bad show that used a lot of stereotypes of the Indian culture, it was still an outrage to see people getting up in arms for a sitcom. No one was saying losing American jobs was funny, it was just the premise to get the main character to India. And it was based on a very sweet film from 2006.
Now obviously it’s not like we’re the only ones who suffer from ignorance and insensitivity. As long as there are organizations or people like the Florida Family Association, One Million Moms, or the Westboro Baptist Church, no one can ever say that ALL Americans are treated as equals.
Image via TLC