Action Alert

Following email was sent to me by Taal (who has yet to do a direct post here, hint). Don’t have enough bandwidth right now to view the trailer directly, but thought this was interesting enough to share.


Dear Friends,

We hope that you’re doing well.

We’ve never really been the type to forward or sign online petitions or write mass emails. But we felt compelled to tell you about something that has deeply concerned us.

Recently, we sat in a theater to watch Spiderman 2 and were shocked to see a trailer for an upcoming TNT program called ‘The Grid.’ The show is supposed to be a fictional account of counter-terrorist activities against “Islamic terrorism” in New York city. The ad was longer than a typical movie preview and began with interviews with the show’s actors, executive producer, and technical advisor (who incidentally happens to be a former Bush administration policy advisor and who admiringly refers to Donald Rumsfeld.)

Moving between fiction and reality, the trailer blurred the actors’ recollections of 9/11 with clips from the show, depicting “Arab” individuals. Among the most offensive images were:

(1) an image of a man who appears to have been physically tortured while Julianna Margulies says: “You speak to me truthfully, and I’ll get you out of here” (a shocking image in light of the Abu Ghraib incident).

(2) images of Muslim men praying and Muslim women in Hijab as the background voices discuss an Islamic terrorist cell operating in NYC.

(3) A collage of images, including ones of Muslim individuals, as the voice-over states: “they taught us to fear, now it is their turn to be afraid” and “human life means nothing to these people.”

You can watch a much shorter, and far-less-offensive version of the trailer at:

Not only is the trailer intrinsically racist, but such representations heighten the risk of hate crimes against perceived-Muslims. Last year alone, the Center for American-Islamic Relations reported 1000 hate-crime incidents in the United States.

So, if after watching the trailer you agree with us, we urge you to call or write TNT and ask them to stop running the trailer in its current form. You can contact TNT at:
1010 Techwood Dr. NW
Atlanta GA 30318
TNT programming: 404-885-4538

Also, if you have a weblog, we urge you to write about this and bring it to the attention of your readers. The more people that express their concerns, the more likely that we will have an impact. We will also be contacting a number of civil-rights groups and bringing the matter to their attention.

If you happen to call or write TNT, please stress that you do not yet object to the program itself (the program’s website goes to great lengths to state that the show was developed with authenticity and sensitivity and which does not air until July 19th), but only to the blatantly offensive trailer.


Naz Modirzadeh
Kaveh Shahrooz


3 thoughts on “Action Alert

  1. war time programming, akin to war time movies such as Hidalgo (a real groaner)
    Ps- your comments kept rejecting my blog url for some weird reason. did you recently tweak it?

  2. Discalaimer – my comments are based only on the trailer I watched at noon (EDT) on 26th July from,5918,540146,00.html
    After having read this letter, I believe that I was fairly biased towards seeing the worst in this trailer. That worst, at least for me, did not materialize even though I watched it twice. If this is the only trailer that they run, I have no real basis for objection. I very much appreciate the distinction that Naz and Kaveh drew between judging the trailer they had seen and judging the show, which they had not. Does anyone know where to find the longer, more offensive, trailer? If I can see that, and it is as described, I’m happy to write an objection to tnt.

Comments are closed.