Wendy and I were watching television last night when we happened upon an advertisement for a new CW show, “Aliens in America.”
Here’s the synopsis from the CW site:
“Justin Tolchuk is a sensitive, lanky 16-year-old just trying to make it through the social nightmare of high school in Medora, Wisconsin, with the help of his well-meaning mom Franny, aspiring-entrepreneur dad Gary, and his popular sister Claire, who is sweetly unaware of how good-looking she is. When Franny signs up for the school’s international exchange student program, she pictures an athletic, brilliant Nordic teen who will bestow instant coolness on her outsider son. However, when the Tolchuk’s exchange student arrives, he turns out to be Raja Musharaff, a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslim. Despite the cultural chasm between them, Justin and Raja quickly develop an unlikely friendship that just might allow them to navigate the minefield that is contemporary high school. It’s going to be a very interesting year for Raja, Justin, his family and the entire population of Medora”
Wendy and I looked at each other in disbelief after watching this commercial.
Let me just try and break down some of the racist stereotypes present in this show. First off, the Nordic teen who is presumably white, is depicted as “athletic, brilliant,” and a bestower of “coolness.” However, Raja, a Pakistani Muslim, is apparently at the other end of a “chasm” and his friendship with Justin is “unlikely.”
I have a few questions for the CW: Did you intentionally plan on normalizing and/or deifying whiteness with this show? Could you make the white kid anymore supreme than the kid of color? And who in the heck came up with the title “Aliens in America”? Do you think it’s a good strategy to “other” people of color by referring to them as “Aliens”? Is the fictional town of Medora, Wisconsin a bastion of white supremacy?
I am disgusted by this television show and the executives at the CW who are funding it. It is unbelievably racist and anti-Muslim.
Update: Holy moly. I just watched the trailer/preview. It is chock full of stereotypically racist caricatures. THIS SHOW NEEDS TO BE CANCELLED BEFORE IT AIRS.
Update 2: If the trailer on the CW site is not working, try these videos via YouTube.