ABC Family Drops ‘Alice in Arabia’ Series Amid Pressure From Muslim, Arab-American Groups

ABC Family Drops 'Alice in Arabia' Series Amid Pressure From Muslim, Arab-American Groups

ABC Family

Fears of potential stereotyping in the one-hour drama are among the protests

ABC Family is pulling its recent series order for “Alice in Arabia” amid protests from Muslim and Arab-American civil rights groups.

“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,” an ABC Family spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.

“Alice in Arabia” followed a rebellious American teenage girl who, after tragedy befalls her parents, is unknowingly kidnapped by her extended family, who are Saudi Arabian.

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It was written by Brooke Eikmeier, who previously served in the US Army as a Cryptologic Linguist in the Arabic language, trained to support NSA missions in the Middle East. She left service in September 2013 as a rank E-4 Specialist.

ABC Family announced the series order for the pilot on Wednesday. Pressure from Muslim and Arab-American groups followed the same day. One group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Los Angeles Chapter (CAIR-LA) said that it had asked ABC Family to meet with Muslim and Arab-American community leaders to discuss concerns about potential stereotyping in the new series.

Although the group acknowledged that Eikmeier had “noble intentions” for the story's potential to give Arabs and Muslims a voice on television, it was “concerned about the negative impact this program could have on the lives of ordinary Arab-American and American Muslims” like stereotyping and bullying of students.

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CAIR-LA had previously expressed similar fears with “24,” “The Siege,” “True Lies” and “Rules of Engagement,” among other productions. The Washington-based organization has also acted as a consultant on films, including DreamWorks SKG's “Prince of Egypt.”

“Alice in Arabia” was greenlit along with two other series “Recovery Road,” about a teen girl dealing with addiction, and tennis drama “Unstrung.”

  • Mxcrosser

    Everytime Muslims complain they get their way. If WE went into THEIR country and did that, would we get OUR way? So tired of the US catering to their every anti Christian anti America belly aching! If they hate us so much, what are they doing here? Bring back Ronald Reagan!!!!!!!!

    • Incognito

      Most of them don't hate us or else they wouldn't be here. I know a lot of muslims because I work in the health field. Most of them are very kind and considerate people.
      With that being said, I'm not saying that abc should've pulled the show. If all shows that could offend a group were pulled, we wouldn't have television.

      • L Cavendish

        So where are all those kind and considerate ones when it comes to decrying the atrocities commited by the militants? Doing nothing is the same as acceptance. Not part of the solution? Part of the problem!

    • PrinceHarming

      No – we would get our heads cut off in the town square. Shame on ABC

  • drwho2

    This is total BS….the only reason they didn't want it shown here is because it shows what there real beliefs are. they just don't want the rest of the world to know how sick and perveted their “religion” really is!

  • WhosaidWhat

    I'm not sure what parts of the show would be racist or offensive? I mean, I don't see anything wrong with a man of 70 or 80 marrying a child of 8 years old and raping her until she dies, do you? Perfectly normal in America too right?… And as for beheading and stoning,…lol Common everyday playground fun for our children, right, just like burning witches a few hundred years ago… oh… wait..uhm yeah.. that's right.. America is civilized now and we don't do any of that backwards stuff that the third world, uneducated, religiously oppressed people do in the Middle East… oops.. My bad… Let us all pray to pedophile Dog god MOOOOOHAMMMMM ed.. The name sounds like a Cow F'd a Pig and named it mr. Ed…lol

  • Guest123

    All the comments below (except by Incogneto) is exactly why this series got cancelled.

    Not a single response advocates on behalf of the script/series’ content. All any of you have done is maliciously condemn one of the three largest and fastest growing communities on this Earth.

    The Islamic ogranization above asked to meet with the creatives of the series at ABC Family. And instead of meeting, the Executives at ABC Family opted to simply put the show to bed. That, in itself, is telling of the content and the light that is being continuously shined on ONE group of peoples since the beginning of entertainment.

    If you can name a single Hollywood show, ever, on the air that paints a Muslim human being as the primary protagnoist/hero, then you have my attention. Otherwise, it is more hate filled content that paints the entire group of people negatively and theres already more than enough of that in the world. Your comments proved that.

  • AMystery

    Others have protested against ABC shows and have been told “turn your TV off or Change channels”. I guess they will only remove programming if it is politically correct. Right

  • Jim Allen

    Wonder what would have happened if this had been a young girl, forced to live with her fundamentalist grandmother?