ABC Family has killed the controversial ‘Alice in Arabia’ after complaints that it relied on stereotypes of Muslims, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed on Friday night.
“The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we’ve decided not to move forward with this project.”
The show’s original synopsis was met with widespread skepticism, and an early draft of the script – obtained by BuzzFeed – confirmed that the concerns were founded. The network’s decision to rescind support for the pilot comes after pressure from the public, and complaints from several civil rights groups, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In a letter to ABC executives, dated March 19, ADC President Samer Khalaf wrote:
“By purchasing a pilot of the show, The Walt Disney Company, along with ABC Family, continue to unabashedly perpetuate harmful stereotypes, orientalism and Islamophobia… The imagery and depiction of the respective communities as kidnappers and oppressors of women, reinforces harmful stereotypical depictions of the communities as thieves, criminals, persons who engage in violent acts, captives and/or persecutors…