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GOP Senate Candidate Complained of Lack of Muslim Movie Villains

14 January 2014 Mother Jones 30 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Chris McDaniel/Facebook

Chris McDaniel/Facebook

GOP Senate Candidate Complained of Lack of Muslim Movie Villains


Political correctness is keeping Hollywood from properly stigmatizing Muslims—so said Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel. He issued this complaint during a 2006 episode of Right Side Radio, a syndicated show McDaniel hosted for three years before being elected to the state Senate in 2007.

“It’s funny how the movies have portrayed themselves lately and how the video games have portrayed themselves lately,” McDaniel said in the segment. “There’s one person that cannot be a villain in Hollywood, ever. One group that cannot be villains. Who is that? [Cohost: The Muslims.] Yeah, isn’t that neat? They’ll go out of their way to find some Russian white guy that’s just nuts, and he’s the terrorist, which I’ve never seen that. But the Muslims, they’ve just disappeared from Hollywood’s radar.”

“I think the true enemy is Ron Howard and Andy Griffith,” he joked. (The remarks were first reported by a local politics blog, Dark Horse Mississippi.)

McDaniel didn’t have it quite right. Islamic extremists played the roles of terrorists in seasons two, four, and five of the television show 24; the Showtime series Sleeper Cell; and a variety of movies, including SyrianaThe KingdomRules of EngagementThe SiegeTrue Lies, andZero Dark Thirty. The Muslim-as-villain has been such a long-standing stereotype that a 1998New York Times story reported on the difficulties Arab American actors faced in obtaining roles beyond that as hijackers.

Other audio clips unearthed by Dark Horse Mississippi feature McDaniel warning about the dangers of the “homosexual agenda” and describing a grand plan by Democrats to make “homosexual marriage and polygamy completely legal in all 50 states.” Speaking before the 2006 election, McDaniel rattled off a “parade of horribles” that would come to pass if Democrats (“the party of sex on demand”) took control of Congress; these included “new social taxes, new social programs,” and “new hate crime laws for homosexuals.”

In another episode of his radio show, McDaniel mocked San Francisco lawmakers who had decried an ad campaign depicting a white woman wrestling a black woman, under the slogan “White is coming.”

“They’re elite,” he said of the city’s residents, before taking a shot at the city’s LGBT community. “Right next to gender misidentification is IQ, I suppose. That’s gonna get me in trouble.”

Last week, Mother Jones reported on a promotional clip from Right Side Radio in which McDaniel blamed rising gun violence on hip-hop. As he put it, “It’s a problem of a culture that values prison more than college; a culture that values rap and destruction of community values more than it does poetry; a culture that can’t stand education.”


  1. He shoulda asked Rush Limbaugh, 24’s been his wet dream for years.

  2. Ill be a Muslim Movie Villain, PAY ME!!!

  3. -_-

  4. Homeland is one big example.

  5. Look up Jack Shaheen.

  6. What about movies where Christians and Muslims living together and loving each other?

  7. Team America World Police?

  8. It’s like this dude didn’t exist in the 80s. What movie that didn’t have a Mooslam as an antagonist had a Russian.

  9. To be fair, Syriana was pretty sympathetic to Islam, I think

  10. And in the Muslim world how are Christians and Jews portrayed? Hypocrites.

  11. You need to see “Reel Bad Arabs”.

  12. What about the lack of gov terrorist. Like this moron!

  13. Michel wadley nothing like here in USA . What a dumb argument .

  14. I have seen movies depicting Jews as monsters cartons killing Jews Christians being portrayed as terrorist so what is y’all point? To speak out about the mistreatment of American Muslims and to turn a blind eye to the killings of Christians and Jews in the Middle East is hypocritical at best at worst it is silently endorsing the treatment of those people.

  15. You guys forgot about Aladdin.

    That was a joke, kinda.

    And Team America: World Police is from the people who made south park, and had *terrorists* as the enemy, not Muslims.

    Plus, Kim Jong Il was the mastermind, not even anyone from the middle east. Get your facts straight.

  16. Let’s not forget True Lies, Collateral Damage, the Delta Force series, Navy Seals.

  17. No ones in idk Egypt. It’s not my job to go on the internet and google this for you do it yourself. I love how you completely don’t address what is happening to Christians in Africa Syria Egypt or Iran. I am bit for hatif people based on religion or any other factor. I’m also not for acting like tree isn’t reasons for people’s distrust of others.

  18. O_o

  19. Made for TV Islam is everywhere. Especially on Fox News. 24/7/365

  20. Tired of these racist assholes

  21. Is he as dumb as he sounds?

  22. Yeah clearly cause you don’t agree with someone you are dumb. That’s why we can get nowhere as a country I don’t like what you have to say screw it if it has truth in it or not your dumb.

  23. How about a movie where people have finally stopped cowering in the darkness of religious ignorance, and fully embrace the bright light of reason, and science?

  24. Hooray! This is a fortuitous time to shamelessly plug my blog:

    I write about this very topic: Arabs and Muslims in film. And it’s rarely pretty. Thankfully, every once in a while a good film shows up; I’m actually in the middle of writing up The Rabbi’s Cat, which is a wonderful example of the exact kind of coexistence that we need more of to shut Chris McDaniel’s worthless mouth.

  25. Well… we don’t have the Communists to scare us anymore. And the Fascist state needs an outside Boogeyman to divert peoples attention from the deteriorating situation at home. The Muslim terrorist fits that role perfectly. We all have to relinquish our rights so the authorities can keep us safe.

  26. Homeland as well

  27. howdo dipshits like this get into office???
    maybe there should be a film telling this guy to take his comment, shove it up his ass and go fuck himself

  28. more like a lack of Muslim/Arab superheroes that are practicing Muslims.

  29. Where is the problem in portraying a Muslim as a villain in some movies?

    All kinds of people receive that honor. Why you think Muslims should be excluded?

  30. And every other video you did not mention, the villains we’re non Muslims. What’s your point?

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