Dr. Shaheen contributed to a weekend release of an article named, “Exploiting fear of Muslims? The far right has nothing on liberal Hollywood”. The article shows how Hollywood productions have capitalized on the fears of the mainstream public by portraying Muslims as terrorists. By using this fear, Muslims are viewed by the public as religious extremists that oppress women who wear burkas. Dr. Shaheen weighs in on the topic in the article below,
“There has never been liberal Hollywood when it comes to the portrayal of Muslims on TV,” says professor and author Jack Shaheen, who’s been researching the subject since the mid 1970s and served as a cultural consultant on films such as “Three Kings” and “Syriana.” “They’ve reinforced the idea that many Americans now have — that all Muslims are terrorists. They knew they could get away with it because no one was going to protest. They’ve been playing to the balcony, and in doing so, they’ve been getting the ratings.”
More of Dr. Shaheen’s critical take on the view of Muslims in Hollywood can be read in the article here.
Dr. Jack G. Shaheen is a writer and lecturer specializing in addressing racial and ethnic stereotypes. He is the author of Reel Bad Arabs (adapted to a 2006 documentary), The TV Arab (1984) and Arab and Muslim Stereotyping in American Popular Culture (1997). His work focuses on racism and orientalism, particularly in popular culture such as Hollywood films. He has given over 1,000 lectures on the issue across the United States and on three continents.
Shaheen is also a former CBS News consultant on Middle East affairs, and professor emeritus of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.