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Countering Stereotypes: Muslims, Muslim-Americans and the Modern Middle East on TV

For more than a decade, television portrayals of Muslims and Muslim Americans have been, with few exceptions, clichéd and one dimensional. A majority of Muslim characters, as well as stories involving the Middle East, have primarily centered on storylines related to terrorism, reinforcing false public perceptions about the vast majority of Muslims.

Television and media landscapes are changing, however, with a number of new shows presenting thoughtful, complex and well-rounded portrayals of Muslim characters, outside the traditional terrorist paradigm.

MOST, a non-profit resource offering entertainment writers and producers expert advice and contemporary storylines on all things related to Muslims, and the Writers Guild Foundation invite you to join us in a discussion about the entertainment industry’s unique capacity to perpetuate and/or broaden existing views of Muslims, Muslim Americans and the Middle East, and how storytelling can promote greater understanding, while delivering first-rate film and series TV comedy and drama.


  • Chris Keyser – Executive Producer, Tyrant, past President of the Writers Guild of America, West

  • Khaled Abol Naga – Actor, TyrantVikings

  • Emily V. Gordon – Writer, The Carmichael ShowThe Big Sick

  • Bassem Youssef – Known as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt,” satirist and host of Fusion’s Democracy Playbook

Moderated by: Ambassador Cynthia Schneider, Co-Director MOST, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University

Introduction by Michael Wolfe, MOST Co-Director and Executive Producer of Unity Productions Foundation

Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.

This event is free with RSVP. Please reserve your spot below.

All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

Earlier Event: October 11
Writers on Writing with Carlton Cuse
Later Event: October 18
Notes on Craft: Dialogue