Embarrassing Americans: Our love affair with stereotypes

All American Muslim

I always find it strange how the less popular a news show is the more it seems to say things that make the most sense. To be fair I have no idea how popular Erin Burnett Out Front is at all. I do know when I see many of the other CNN shows that aren’t popular they too take risks with their shows.

Last night a point was brought up about how we as Americans love to watch people make fools of themselves on these reality. While all of that makes sense the sad part of that is it also falls into playing into stereotypes. All – American Muslim was canceled due to low ratings. The hype about this show came from advertisers pulling their ads from the show. The fact there was some group inFlorida tripping that the Muslims on the show weren’t reflective of the ones we see in the movies or on the news. The chance to expose Americans to the fact that Islam is very diverse fell flat. People were upset that the lives of the people they showed were normal and boring. EVERYONE has a boring life at some point. There were no bomb making tips, wife beatings or worse things happening to a female, trips to the doctor for a female to have whatever happens to their vagina and all the other things we have been fed Muslims are about. You couldn’t find anyone that looked like the people we see on the news at all. That isn’t entertaining to Americans. There should have been some grandfather who hatesAmerica or a conflict dealing with females and how we seem them treated in news stories slightly played out on the show. The point of the show was to show there are Muslims who are just as American as us and deal with the same issues as many middle class Americans. That isn’t what Americans want to see, how dare those Muslims lives look like ours. Being to similar to the lives of the viewers is what killed the show.

It’s not just that show it’s all these shows. There are shows that deal with backwoods country guys that have to “hick” and “redneck” it up for our entertainment. As funny as we may find them there are many things that they know about nature that you can’t read in a book because they live a certain kind of life, and when they inform you on what they’re saying it makes sense. These shows focus on them being buffoons more than anything. Even those house wives shows have the ladies living up to an image we as Americans have in our heads. If you’re normal no one wants to see that. Yes, we watch these shows to be entertained but I personally would be more entertained listening to a man who looks like a member of the Clampett clan and has a thick southern accent breaking down what he does in a logical manner without playing on his background for entertainment.  That would make him too normal and normal doesn’t work in reality shows. As successful as Jersey Shore is now, the first season was considered the East Coast, Italian more out there version of all those shows years before that focused on bland, vanilla, fake and stuck up people on those Malibu shows. So the more those on Jersey Shore played on the stereotype you have of them the better they were. Jessica Simpson became a huge phenomenon from what in my mind was an honest lack of knowledge with the “Chicken Of The Sea” moment. The show really took off when it came off she was a dumb blonde. Jessica Simpson is so far removed from those days now. Reality shows are cheaper supposedly non scripted shows that follow people living their lives. The thing is you have to be willing to “act” a certain why to get ahead in the world of reality television.  It’s one reason why I rather watch any Documentary about anything under the sun because those people aren’t trying to fuel our ignorance, they’re just being them.

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2 thoughts on “Embarrassing Americans: Our love affair with stereotypes

  1. I agree completely. I must say the Hype around All-American muslim, was especially high within the muslim community. There was a nervous air. A fear, I guess. We didnt know what would be showed, and we didnt know how much. There was a fear that an incorrect image of Islam might be perpetuated by the series.

    The saddest thing about it is, that people didnt even get a chance to form an opinion. Its sad how sensationalism sells…and normalness…well, we confine that idea to ourselves, not the peeps on the TV.

  2. I don’t even deal with reality shows and saw one episode of All American Muslim and came away thinking it was boring like all the rest pf the shows. I’m glad it was though because it showed there are no differences between people as much as we like to think other wise in America

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