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The TV show “All-American Muslim” was a reality show on TLC that showcased five Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan, one of the largest Muslim communities in the country. It aimed to show how Muslims were normal Americans and dispel some of the “Islamophobia.” This seems especially apparent in one of the show’s taglines, “One nation, Under Suspicion.” To me, this tagline really serves to show the show’s true purpose: to capitalize on Islamophobia. In the ten years since 9/11, Islamophobia hasn’t changed much. If anything, it’s only gotten stronger. The network might be trying to get rid of some Islamophobia, but at the same time, television is a business. They want to try to get the highest ratings possible.

The network that aired it, TLC, has been known to incite controversy with its different reality shows, like Jon and Kate Plus 8, Toddlers and Tiaras, and Sister Wives. Sister Wives caused a lot of controversy, and Toddlers and Tiaras continues to cause controversy all the time. Controversy, though, makes people watch the show, because they want to see what all the controversy is about. This leads to higher ratings. So I’m sure that TLC thought of this when they decided to produce this show, especially when it led to so much success with their other shows. Even though it was a ratings success, they had too much of a negative backlash from different organizations, so it was canceled. Has anybody in our class watched the show? What do you think about it?

2 Responses to “Ratings Are What It’s All About”

  1. Olivia says:

    I’ve never seen the show, but I do find your post particularly relevant in light of the subject matter of The Submission. In the novel, Waldman provides us with various portraits of the lives of Muslim Americans after 9/11 and as I read, I found her pointedly diverse depictions of the Muslim characters to be intriguing.

    Yet, I would not be at all interested in watching All-American Muslim, because I am not a reality t.v. fan and because, quite honestly, it sounds absolutely boring, an adjective I would not ascribe to Amy Waldman’s novel.

  2. Jenny Mix says:

    I’ve never seen the show, and had I known about it during it’s air time I wouldn’t have watched it then either. The phrasing of the description is offensive and obviously supports Islamaphobia. It’s sad that a show like this even made it to television without any boards or necessary checks to stop something like this from being broadcast.