During winter break, I found myself in the hospital for a short stay after having had knee surgery. During that stay, I watched an absurd amount of awful television. Fox’s daytime talk show, “The Real,” was on the list.
“The Real” follows the same format as other daytime talk shows such as the legendary “The View” on ABC and “The Talk” on CBS (why we need three different versions of the same talk show on three different networks is beyond me). Singer Tamar Braxton, actress Tamera Mowry-Housley (“Sister, Sister” anyone?), comedienne Loni Love, Style Network host Jeannie Mai and singer Adrienne Bailon of 3LW and The Cheetah Girls host the show.
Unfortunately, the show seems to have gotten itself into some hot water. On Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint
against Warner Bros. for discrimination. In February, two Muslim women alleged that an executive on the show told them they were not allowed to sit in the front row due to their wearing of hijabs, a traditional Muslim headdress.
What is truly confusing about this situation is that “The Real” prides itself on having a diverse cast, which it does. Not one of the hosts is white, and all of them are women. If the show wants to celebrate on-screen diversity, shouldn’t it also celebrate the diversity of the audience that watches it?
According to The Washington Post, the amount of anti-Muslim hate crimes has consistently risen in the United States since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Prior to that date, there were “between 20 and 30” hate crimes per year targeted against Muslims. In 2001, that number rose to 500, and since then, there have been roughly 100-150 hate crimes against Muslims per year.
In today’s world, we’re faced with the unfortunate fact that prejudice and racism are still very much alive and well. However, with innovations such as social media, we’re able to immediately enlighten ourselves of events when they happen. Hopefully, when these things happen, we’ll be able to hold ourselves more accountable and do the right thing.
It couldn’t be important right now to keep ourselves aware of the obstacles faced by minorities around the world. In today’s society, where we pretty much have a virtual window to anything happening at all times, it’s our job to keep spreading knowledge and to promote peace.
As a Jewish American, and therefore someone whose religion has been and still is the target of prejudice and bias, I applaud the two women who came forward for telling their stories. Standing up for your rights isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is necessary.
Executive producers of “The Real” say that they’re launching an investigation and that the show was “created to represent and celebrate diversity.” Hopefully, the show will continue to flaunt that diversity by respecting all of its audience members, no matter what.