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The Colorblind ScreenTelevision in Post-Racial America$
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Sarah Nilsen and Sarah E. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479809769

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479809769.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

Maybe Brown People Aren’t So Scary If They’re Funny

Maybe Brown People Aren’t So Scary If They’re Funny

Audience Readings of Arabs and Muslims on Cable Television Comedies

Chapter:
(p.167) 7 Maybe Brown People Aren’t So Scary If They’re Funny
Source:
The Colorblind Screen
Author(s):

Dina Ibrahim

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479809769.003.0007

This chapter contrasts the perceptions and reactions of two groups, non-Arab and non-Muslim audiences and Arab and Muslim audiences, regarding the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in various contemporary cable television programs through the lens of George Gerbner's cultivation theory. The groups viewed examples of Arab and Muslim characters from contemporary shows, and questions guided the discussions about how the images and characters are perceived by these disparate audiences. Arabs and Muslims have been maligned in Hollywood ever since the earliest silent movies of the 1920s. Jack Shaheen summarizes these stereotypes as the three “Bs”: billionaires, bombers, and belly dancers. The participants pointed out several discrepancies in the plotlines and criticized the examples for stretching fiction beyond what they perceived as reasonable limits.

Keywords:   Arabs, Muslims, portrayal, contemporary cable television programs, George Gerbner, cultivation theory, Hollywood, Jack Shaheen

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