Hollywood Arabs

Arabs are "the only vicious racial stereotype that's not only still permitted but actively endorsed by Hollywood" Godfrey Cheshire

Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik (1921)

From Valentino to Bin Laden

The Sheik (1921). Oversexed sheikh (Rudolph Valentino) whisks fiesty British socialite off to luxurious desert tent.

Network (1977). Saudis as medieval fanatics.

Rollover (1981). Saudis as a sinister force trying to ruin the American economy.

Wrong is Right (1982). Sheikh gives terrorists two nuclear bombs to drop on New York and Tel Aviv.

Protocol (1984). Unsophisticated cocktail waitress is whisked off to the kingdom of El Ohtar (rathole spelled backwards) where the sheikh will not allow America to build a military base unless she joins his harem.

Iron Eagle (1986). US Air Force pilot is shot down by radical Middle Eastern state. His son and a mate borrow two planes to get dad back and zap the Arabs.

True Lies (1994). Muslim terror group called Crimson Jihad steals nuclear weapons and threatens to detonate them.

The Siege (1998). Middle East terrorists detonate bombs in New York City. US government rounds up American Muslims and Arab-Americans into detention camps

Rules of Engagement (2000). Arab mob attacks US embassy for no apparent reason. US troops massacre them. Just what they deserved.


Hollywood Harems
A half-hour documentary taking critical aim at Hollywood's abiding fantasies about all things east.

The 'towel-heads' take on Hollywood
Arabs accuse US filmmakers of racism over blockbuster. By Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, 11 August 2000

Filmmakers' protestations fail to justify 'The Siege'
Judith Gabriel
Yet another American film portraying Arabs and Muslims as fanatics, extremists, bombers and terrorists. Al Jadid magazine, Vol. 4, No. 25 (Fall 1998)

The 'towel-heads' take on Hollywood
Rules of Engagement joins a long line of Hollywood films portraying Arabs and Muslims as fanatics, extremists, bombers and terrorists.

Black Hawk Down
Ridley Scott's film about the 1993 American military fiasco in Mogadishu.