Arab Stereotypes in ‘Aladdin’ School Play Lead to Cancellation

Elementary school cancels production of “Aladdin Jr.” after complaints from parents that it promotes stereotypes of Arab culture. Does this show promote stereotypes?

Coming Soon
Total Votes : 1

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

Elementary schools are known for putting on entertaining theatrical and musical productions. It’s a chance for kids to dress up as different characters and try to remember some lines, while the parents root them on.

And amid Disney’s current promotion of their new live-action version of “Aladdin,” coming to theaters next year, one Baltimore County elementary school has encountered some drama over their own drama club production of “Aladdin Jr.”

After receiving complaints from parents who said the play promotes stereotypes of Arab culture, the school decided to then cancel the production altogether, according to Fox News.

Westowne Elementary School’s fourth-grade drama club was inspired by Disney’s version of “Aladdin Jr.” with hopes of putting on the production in February 2019.

The play, however, is an adaptation of Disney’s animated 1992 film “Aladdin,” and has since been canceled after some parents criticized its portrayal of “barbaric” stereotypes that were used to describe Arabs in the play.

Danette Zaghari-Mask, a school parent and attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, revealed that, “In the play, Arabs are described as barbaric,” in those exact words. She also noted that “the actual play was very controversial apparently in the early ’90s.” Zaghari-Mask expressed her concern with the play after her son came home “humiliated” after reading the play’s script and deciding to drop out.

The school’s principal, J. Palmer Wilker, sent a letter to the drama club parents explaining their decision to cancel the school’s production of the “Aladdin” show.

In it, Wilker writes, “Recently, it has been brought to our attention that Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” has historically been criticized for its inaccurate, negative stereotyping of Arabic culture. Here at Westowne, we want to cultivate students who have a strong self-image, appreciation, and respect for other cultures,” he said in his statement.

“It is important that we make choices that resist negative stereotypes, promote understanding, and celebrate all people. After careful consideration and with input from the perspectives of many stakeholders — teachers, parents, and community members — we decided that this production of Aladdin Jr. is not the best fit for our Westowne community. Instead, the drama club will be producing an alternative theatrical production with a focus on fables to showcase the talents of our amazing students.”

Zaghari-Mask expressed her relief after the decision, noting that “the school is considerate of diversity,” while others did not agree.

Another school parent, Jessi Eberle, stressed that even though Westowne Elementary states that they are a community, “they didn’t even ask anyone. They just made this decision by themselves and it’s kind of disappointing.”

Instead of “Aladdin Jr.” the school decided to put on a “The Young Fables” play.

An “Aladdin Jr.” play gets cancelled due to criticism from parents saying it promotes stereotypes of Arab culture. Does this show encourage stereotypes? Read more about this story on Fox News here.


Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Elementary school cancels production of “Aladdin Jr.” after complaints from parents that it promotes stereotypes of Arab culture. Does this show promote stereotypes?

Totals
11% Yes
89% No
Males
10% Yes
90% No
Females
10% Yes
90% No

Yes

No

Arab Stereotypes in ‘Aladdin’ School Play Lead to Cancellation


Don’t be a bystander, be a participant

Click here to download the Zip app now and you can vote on all the trending news articles seen on this website. The Zip app is 100% anonymous, ad and commercial free, and free to download. Plus, you can ask questions of your own on things that matter to you.

Open the Zip App
Download on the App Store
Android App on Google Play
Microsoft Download Center