When ABC Family announced they were developing the pilot for a show called 'Alice in Arabia,' it didn't take long before the backlash ensued. The show (which, mind you, straight up exoticizes Middle Eastern cultures in the title itself) was supposed to tell the story of a girl who gets kidnapped by her extended Saudi family and forced to hatch an escape plan or live in the confines of Saudi culture. It's A Little Princess meets Aladdin meets every ABC family show about an American teenage girl—now with extra xenophobia!
A description of the show:
"Alice in Arabia is a high-stakes drama series about a rebellious American teenage girl who, after tragedy befalls her parents, is unknowingly kidnapped by her extended family, who are Saudi Arabian. Alice finds herself a stranger in a new world but is intrigued by its offerings and people, whom she finds surprisingly diverse in their views on the world and her situation. Now a virtual prisoner in her grandfather's royal compound, Alice must count on her independent spirit and wit to find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil."
Oh! And apparently, at one point, when the main character dons a burqa for the first time, the script describes her transformation from "a typical American teenager into a completely formless, anonymous woman." Wow. Did Lady Gaga write this shit?
Luckily, after presumably coming to their senses, ABC family decided that maybe this wasn't the smartest idea and dropped the pilot altogether.
"The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we've decided not to move forward with this project."
Sigh, as much as I want to celebrate the fact that this isn't going through, how did anyone let such a ridiculous project get so far in development?
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