Did the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, carried out by extremists from the Middle East, affect the way Hollywood portrayed Middle Eastern characters in films? This content analysis compares Middle Eastern characters in films from the five years before September 11, 2001 to those in films from the five years after. On average, Middle Eastern characters in post-9/11 films were found to be significantly darker-skinned, less intelligent, more likely to wear traditional (non-Western) clothing, and more likely to commit acts of terrorism.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Arabs in motion pictures; September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001--Influence; Middle East--Foreign public opinion, American; Middle East--In motion pictures; Motion pictures--United States
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Communication (CLA)
Dana, Matthew, "Big-screen aftershock: How 9/11 changed Hollywood’s Middle Eastern characters" (2009). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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