Entertainment

Video: Arab-Americans Attack 'The Dictator' Before Seeing the Film

| by Michael Allen

Some Arab-Americans are upset with Sacha Baron Cohen's new flick 'The Dictator,' even though they have not actually seen the film.

Nadia Tonova, director of the National Network for Arab-American Communities, told E! News: "I have not seen the film, but based on the trailer and interviews that I have seen him do in character, it really seems to be that it's perpetuating a negative stereotype against Arabs and therefore Arab Americans."

"And I feel it's harmful to the discourse, especially these days when we are seeing the number of profiling incidents here in the U.S. against Arab Americans. I don't find it funny, I don't see the humor and it's unproductive discourse."

Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah, who has not seen the film, called the film a  "modern-day minstrel show."

Obeidallah wrote on CNN: "What would the reaction be if a white actor in blackface mocked African-American culture? Or if an actor of Arab heritage pitched a movie about the leader of a fictitious Jewish state in which he would portray the Jewish leader and showcase the worst stereotypes of Jews? Is there any chance that film would get the green light from a Hollywood studio?"

Cohen appeared on the 'Today' show this morning (video below), but didn't address the controversy. However, he did admit that his films have offended people: "At the moment, I think I have the Guinness World Record for the most sued actor in history."