US network scraps 'Alice in Arabia' pilot

Controversial drama about US girl living in Saudi Arabia had drawn widespread criticism
Image is for illustrative purposes only (Getty Images)
By Daniel Shane
Sun 23 Mar 2014 11:46 AM

A proposed pilot for a US television drama about a teenage girl who is kidnapped by her extended family and forced to live in Saudi Arabia has been cancelled following widespread negative feedback.

Announced by ABC Family as one of three new pilots earlier this month, 'Alice in Arabia' attracted a backlash for its description that Alice is “kidnapped” and that she “must count on her independent spirit and wit to find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil”.

ABC said the pilot has been written by Brooke Eikmeier, who previously served in the US Army as a Cryptologic Linguist in the Arabic language, trained to support NSA missions in the Middle East.

Muslim advocacy groups criticised the programme, arguing that it would reinforce negative stereotypes surrounding Arab and Islamic cultures.

“The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we’ve decided not to move forward with this project,” an ABC Family spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

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