Muslim leaders are urging movie executives at Warner Bros. to retitle their new movie TOWELHEAD because the word is “offensive and exploitative”.
Los Angeles members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) insist the derogatory term is offensive to American Muslims and Arab-Americans. They go so far as to state the term ‘towelhead’ as “a racial and religious slur”.
In a letter sent to studio executives, the Islamic civil rights and advocacy group has asked that the film, directed by Alan Ball, be called Nothing is Private – a title previously used in some markets.
CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush writes, “The word is commonly used in a derogatory manner against people of the Muslim faith or Arab origin… We have no desire to inhibit the creative process or your right to produce any film you wish. However, I ask you to take the above concerns into consideration and examine the social implications of releasing the film under its current title.
“It is unfortunate that a major film studio would choose to exploit an ethnic slur as a sensational promotion for a movie. Mainstreaming a bigoted term in this manner will only serve to legitimize and normalize anti-Muslim prejudice in our society.”
The film, starring Aaron Eckhart, Summer Bishil and Toni Collette, is adapted from Alicia Erian’s novel about a young Arab-American girl’s struggles with life and sexual obsession. The heroine of Erian’s story is dubbed ‘Towelhead’ by some ignorant and bigoted Americans.

 

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