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'Tyrant,' FX's Middle East drama, draws complaints of Arab and Muslim stereotypes
by Emily Yahr
It's no secret that FX's new drama "Tyrant" — about the son of a Middle Eastern dictator who leaves his comfortable California life to return to his troubled home country — has had problems since its inception. Ang Lee was supposed to direct the pilot, but dropped out. People criticized the hiring of a white lead actor to play the main Middle Eastern character. The Hollywood Reporter has a long story about the struggle of making the show, which involved lot of behind-the-scenes issues for its creators.
Most notably, however, as the first episode aired Tuesday night, the series is getting many complaints for one particular issue: Arab and Muslim stereotypes.
Set in fictional Middle Eastern country Abbudin, the series kicks off as the long-exiled son comes home after decades away (he couldn't handle his father's dictatorship). After a series of unfortunate events, he may be forced to now help his native country, which is going through "complex and turbulent growing pains of a nation straining to break free from dictatorial rule," according to the network description.
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