Popular 1990s Sitcom Is a Surprise Hit Among Detainees at Guantanamo Bay Miami Herald
The 168 captives in their second decade of U.S. detention in Guantanamo Bay have a new favorite entertainment: watching episodes of the 1990s Will Smith comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," reports the Miami Herald.
A librarian for the prison said he ordered six seasons of the program, but provided no reason for the show's sudden popularity among the detainees, the story notes. The half-hour sitcom about an inner-city kid who moves in with his wealthy California cousins originally aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996.
The comedy is among the most requested items in the detention center's library of 28,000 books and videos, the story reports. Demand for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series have dwindled, the piece notes, citing the librarian.
"Cooperative captives, who make up the majority of the prisoners, can watch the show communally in their medium security lock-ups, pretty much around the clock. They're in cell blocks of up to 20 men equipped with a flat-screen television bolted to the wall inside a plexiglass box," the story says.
"Commanders consider activities -- like TV, books, art classes and outdoor recreation like soccer -- to be key to keeping the captives distracted, and reducing friction with the guard force," the piece adds.