Entertainment Industry Urged to Hire More Muslims

Susan Jones | Senior Editor | Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Entertainment Industry Urged to Hire More Muslims

(CNSNews.com) - An Islamic advocacy group wants the entertainment industry to present a more positive image of Muslims and Arabs, who often play terrorists on television and in the movies -- especially after 9/11, when Arab Muslims attacked the United States.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' Los Angeles office (CAIR-LA) and FOX Television recently co-hosted a "Hollywood 101" workshop to introduce aspiring Muslim writers, directors and actors to the entertainment industry.

The event, held at FOX Studios in Century City, was intended to promote a positive change in Hollywood's portrayal of Muslims and Arabs, CAIR-LA said.

In January, CAIR complained about the storyline on the Fox network's popular television drama "24," which depicted terrorists attacking the United States. CAIR said the Fox show would increase anti-Muslim prejudice in American society.

The recent "Hollywood 101" event -- a result of CAIR's discussions with Fox -- included students and entry-level professionals who are hoping to build contacts and advance their careers in the entertainment industry.

Participants were given a tour of the studio lot, a presentation on FOX internships and a one-hour interactive seminar featuring five industry professionals, CAIR said in a news release.

CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said the best way to promote an "accurate and balanced portrayal of Muslims in America and around the world" is thought media outlets that shape popular culture.

"Our goal is to help nurture aspiring Muslim artists and to act as facilitators in providing support to emerging Muslim talent in the entertainment industry," said Ayloush.

Ayloush thanked Fox and its Diversity Department for co-hosting the event - "and realizing the importance of engaging young American Muslims who seek to work as entertainment content creators."

In past years, black and Latino groups have criticized the major television networks for allegedly failing to produce more racially diverse programs.

See Earlier Story:
Islamic Group Expresses Concern Over '24' Terror Storyline