Media – what does it bring us?
In our everyday lives, people are exposed to all kinds of media. Many people around the world watch movies, read cartoons and glance at the television. Although they may not realize it, they are under the influence of the images that they see. In fact, these sources may make people have negative assumptions about Middle East. Every so often, there are stereotypical judgments and comments in the media. Exaggerated Hollywood action movies, cartoons and opinionated news emphasize the negative side of Middle East, which indirectly compels audiences to believe that the combinations of images may even be true.
In Hollywood movies, there are stereotypes of Middle Eastern people being killers and terrorists. These stereotypes are generalizations regarding an individual or a group of people. They can be cultural or political judgments of certain groups. For every culture, there is at least one stereotype. People make selective, judgmental statements of the things they see and experience. Usually, they are first impressions; and may be offensive. The most common stereotypes are those that include the word ‘always’ or ‘never’. The statements with such words are definitely not true. Among all the stereotypes that have been made, there are many about the Middle East. Indeed, I believe that the 9/11 incidents led the media to get the idea of using Arabs as the villains. In movies, Middle Eastern actors have guns and are often the threatening characters. In fact, Jack G.Shaheen, a professor of mass communications has written books regarding the stereotypes mentioned in Hollywood action movies. He has analyzed many of Hollywood action movies and pointed out the stereotypes in the movies. For example, the movie ‘True Lies’ is listed as one of the worst ones. He says that “Twentieth Century Fox, showed Arab-Muslim terrorists as vermin in a movie called 'True Lies' with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1994” (Shaheen).
Not only are there movies, but there are also stereotypical points made in the form of cartoons. Some graphic novels, and comic books emphasize Middle Eastern people as villains. If Hollywood action movies are to get the attention of the adults, the cartoons are targeting elementary and secondary students. Indeed, through reading these books, school students may be exposed to the wrong emphasis and ideas. Since common stereotypes involving the violence of Middle Eastern countries are made, the students learn indirectly. In addition, many of the computer games involve the character of ‘villains’; and these characters are often the Arabs. The video...