Worldtown Hearsay :: The Persian Version Perversion
MTV’s take on diaspora representation goes a little like this: show a select community, with a misnomer that sounds like a carbohydrate dish institutionalized at a Giants game, drinking, cursing and cruising (with a particular proficiency for pumping Iron and sculpting gelled hairdos) and say it’s an intro to Italian-American culture. Mamma Mia, is that what the channel formerly showing music would like to purvey?
With the announcement that MTV plans to extend it’s popular reality series, The Jersey Shore, to document the antics of Persian-American youth partying hard and partying lots comes an outcry against perpetuating stereotypes and blanketing the valuable contributions made by the Iranian-American community in the country. It’s hard to say what value the reality series will add to understanding the strong cultural values of Iranians in America, but the editing for shock value and “diaspora kids gone wild” isn’t exactly doing any favours for integration, nor Persian Pride.
This piece in the PBS’s Frontline captures these sentiments as casting calls look to pervert the view of another minority group.
“For you, life is all about Gucci, Gabbana, Cavalli and Cristal. From BMWs and Bugatis, to Mercedes and Movado — money is no object.” It seems those who might be interested in a show about the cultural assimilation of Iranian Americans will have to watch it through the filter of a spoiled 20-something group obsessed with materialism, body waxing, excessive makeup, and the sort of behavior that will be nothing less than shocking to a community that, for the most part, is morally uptight and clings to sexist double standards. On the other hand, one could argue that this is proof that Iranian Americans have finally arrived. They are now receiving the same sort of treatment as other stereotyped groups, as well as validation, however perverse, that they indeed constitute an established ethnic minority in the United States.
Read more here.