Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

19 Dec, 2014

Lee Daniels: ‘I was brainwashed by U.S. media about Arabs’ – GulfNews.com

Dubai – There’s never a dull moment during an interview with Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels. The man behind gritty dramas such as Precious and The Butler and who was on call at the Dubai International Film Festival to be the head of the Muhr Narrative Films jury commands your attention with his concise — albeit controversial — thoughts.

“I have been brainwashed from the time that I have been a child about the Arabic community and Arab culture. [That’s] what the American media does to the minds of America,” said Daniels in an interview on the sidelines of Diff 2014. It’s his first visit to the UAE and he admits that it’s been a magical experience that included unlearning and letting go of stereotypes.

“That you are peaceful people … that was an overwhelming learning experience I had. At 55, you would think that you know everything because you have been around the world. And now I am thinking how can this be? Some of the injustices and atrocities that are happening to your people are unspeakable and so from that perspective I have learnt to be ashamed of the things that I have been taught.” He’s man enough to admit that Arab stereotypes remained deeply entrenched in his mind until this visit, but ask him about the perceptions about Arabs in his head and he responds: “I think the same perception that you have about African Americans. You know what I am talking about, I ain’t going into details. You know what I am talking about. It’s horrific.”

Read the rest: Lee Daniels: ‘I was brainwashed about Arabs’ | GulfNews.com.