ABC Family is under fire over a new drama project. EW.com’s Inside TV reports that the cable channel has stirred up a firestorm on Twitter over “Alice in Arabia,” which will feature a teen kidnapped by her Saudi Arabian extended family.
The project is also under fire from a Muslim civil liberties group. The Council on American-Islamic Relations called for the network to meet with Muslims and the Arab-American community to talk about their issues with the project, the story reports.
“We want ABC to sit down and to meet with us and have a dialogue,” spokeswoman Yasmin Nouh told the publication. “[And] to recognize that the portrayal of [this story has] real consequences on Muslims and especially on Muslim youth, not only how others treat them, but in terms of how they see themselves.”
According to ABC Family’s description of the project, the main character must “find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil.”
A representative for the network said in a statement, “We hope people will wait to judge this show on its actual merits once it is filmed. The writer is an incredible storyteller and we expect ‘Alice’ to be a nuanced and character-driven show.”
Some on Twitter took issue with the reference to living “behind the veil,” the piece says. Nouh noted, “The veil connotes and is equated to oppression, you are in an oppressive land with oppressive people and the veil is just a part of that.”