Real Bad Arabs: Hollywood’s relentless vilification of Arabs

The documentary illustrates how the image of a nation was vilified by Hollywood, creating different types of stereotypes (from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding “terrorists”). The idea of over time has served to naturalize prejudicial attitudes toward Arabs and Arab culture, in the process reinforcing a narrow view of individual Arabs and the effects of specific US domestic and international policies on their lives.

It makes comparisons to how Nazi Germany was able to build upon the “economic threat of the Jews” to create widespread hatred of Jews. I always find these illuminations full of insights about insidious racism (this research finds that 25% of Hollywood movies demean Arab men and women) which is apparently acceptable in our culture.

Thanks to Majdi Faleh for showing this to me.


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