Freelance journalist Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor
The West Hollywood City Council wants Bravo’s reality series Shahs Of Sunset to change its ways and stop “perpetuating negative stereotypes about Iranian-Americans.” The pols used their jurisdiction to slam the Ryan Seacrest-produced series about Iranian-Americans living in Beverly Hills (think a milder, West Coast version of MTV”s Jersey Shore, with more money). “The City of West Hollywood is located in close proximity to the area represented in Shahs Of Sunset and has many residents of Iranian descent,” a council resolution passed Thursday read. “Many of them and others have raised concerns about the show’s perpetuation of negative Iranian-American stereotypes.” Councilmember John Heilman said after it was adopted that “negative stereotypes disseminated about any group should raise concern as this can lead to discrimination and, in extreme cases, even violence.” The move is the latest attempt from a city government to weigh in on such matters, after LA City Council member Jan Perry’s measure this week intended to stop radio hosts from using “racist and sexist slurs” and for Clear Channel and others to have more diversity in their workforce. The West Hollywood council said its condemnation “is consistent with past actions of the City Council denouncing negative stereotypes of the LGBT community and other groups which have faced discrimination and marginalization.” More than 700,000 people of Persian descent live in Los Angeles County. Shahs Of Sunset premiered March 11.
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