However, yesterday, I got offended. My daughter brought home the “Body of Lies” movie for us to watch. Directed by Ridley Scott with the screenplay by William Monahan and the novel by David Ignatius, it follows Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is a CIA operative in the Middle East. Ed Hoffman, played by Russell Crowe, is his control at Langley.
Now you must be wondering why I am blogging about couscous and then about the “Body of Lies.” It is simple: Couscous was mentioned twice condescendly as if couscous eaters are potential terrorists who can neither befriended nor trusted. I am really trustworthy. One friend from India told me so.
Now, I do not go around accusing hamburger eaters to be killers of Afghani and Iraqi children. I know better. Instead, I think that former President Bush should be dragged into the International Court of Justice for killing thousands of Afghani and Iraqi civilians.
Now given that couscous is mostly a North African dish, why in the hell did the movie refer to it? Couscous is hardly popular in Iraq and Jordan where the movie takes place.
Until recently because of TV images, the public believed that 70% of American Italians were members of the mafia. However, the true rate is about 0.03% because out of 15 million Italian American, there were only 5,000 who were “made” mafia, according to the FBI. In addition, out of the 500,000 members of organized crime in America today, Italian Americans only have 1,500 members, which means only 0.3% of organized crime members are Italian Americans. The jump from 0.03% to 70% is caused by TV and movie images and stereotypes.
I remember reading that the New York Post published an apology for the cartoon that depicted a police officer who killed a chimpanzee. I think that Scott Ridley should also apologize for spreading the idea that couscous eaters are potential terrorists.
This social construction of the image of foreigners leads the public to the stereotype that most couscous-eating are untrustworthy people or potential terrorists. This is unfair.
I am tired of the stereotyping by Hollywood, and I am going to write a letter and request an apology from the director. I mean what is this idea of spreading cultural misinformation that causes prejudice.
In addition, I am starting to be concerned: What if the FBI calls me back for an interrogation because I am a couscous eater…?