Complaint: Two Hijab-Wearing Women Banished From Front Row at The Real

Illustration for article titled Complaint: Two Hijab-Wearing Women Banished From Front Row at The Real

In February, two Muslim women attended a live-taping of Fox’s The Real talk show, which sounds like fun … until someone told the pair to stay out of sight because of their headscarves.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, their Los Angeles office has filed a public accommodation complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Warner Bros. for discrimination.

The women say in February, they were waiting to be seated in the audience when a studio worker told them that their hijabs prevented them from sitting in the front row due to studio policy.

“Warner Bros. has no legal justification for removing the hijab-wearing women from the camera’s view,” said CAIR-LA Senior Civil Rights Attorney Fatima Dadabhoy. “No studio should maintain such a discriminatory policy that prohibits people wearing religious head coverings from being seen in its studio audiences. It’s especially baffling that this particular show would want to hide their visibly-Muslim viewers, when the show purports to cater to a wide-ranging audience with its diverse cast.”


Dadabhoy’s right; The Real touts co-hosts that are African American, Asian and Latina so it’s an odd space for this kind of exclusion. But then again, this is also the show where no one thought it was a bad idea to do this on Cinco De Mayo.

Image via Fox.

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I really don’t understand why there is such stigma surrounding hijabs. Historically, upper class Christian women purposefully veiled themselves to disassociate from lower class women. It was a sign of social standing. Plus even the Virgin Mary and nuns veiled themselves. Although veiling is slightly different than hijabs, it was similar in practice at the time. Now people see a hijab and assume terrorism and oppression. This is just another example of ignorance.