July 20, 2003
Rejection – hatred – imitation

This is only a press release about a TV programme, a documentary about US cultural penetration of the Islamic world. But it's interesting:

Muslim countries are increasingly saturated with American-produced films and television programs. These countries are struggling to cope with a cultural phenomenon that continues to seep into even the most protected markets via American movies and television. In a riveting and revealing documentary, AMC probes a variety of Muslim viewpoints on this issue to share them with American audiences.

As satellite television and movies invade the homes of Muslims in the Middle East, many perceive it as an insidious cultural invasion by the U.S. -- overt propaganda created to undermine their religious and cultural identity. From the overt homosexuality of Will & Grace, to the exaggerated violence of American action films, these powerful images project a value system that can inspire, as one Egyptian television executive states, "a kind of shock and rejection and hatred."

Yet many Muslims can't take their eyes off these images, as they've become virtually impossible to ignore. In Kurdistan, students say that American films reflect a people with greater freedom of expression and choice. "Our youth are being affected by these media products. They are enjoying it, they are consuming it, and they are imitating what they see," says Angy Ghannam, a news editor for Islam Online in Cairo, Egypt.

Which of course will only make the disapprovers all the more disapproving.

But all will eventually be well. They'll make their own shows, that satisfy their young, but deflect the complaints of the complainers.

And then we'll watch their shows too.

My thanks to David Farrer – whom I'm also finding very linkable to at the moment – for an email flagging this up.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 02:09 AM
Category: TV