Why I Don’t Trust ABC with Our First Primetime Hijabi

The television gods have opened their gates and now rain a blessing down upon us. ABC’s new show Quantico not only contains a Bollywood princess as a cast member, but an actual hijabi character as well. Yasmin Al Massri plays Nimah Anwar who is one of several new recruits at Quantico which houses the FBI Academy.

At first I was only slightly skeptical about this whole thing — but when I read the synopsis, all of my red flags went up.

The show flashes between the recruits’ present day training and their hidden pasts, but it also flashes forward to the near future, where it is revealed that one of the recruits caused the most devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. But which one?

Seriously? Like honestly? This is the big plot? Someone trying to join the FBI is a terrorist. GEE, I WONDER WHO EVERYONE IS GOING TO THINK IT IS!

As someone who adores television and all its possibilities, I don’t understand how ABC or the show writers can get this literal piece of gold in their hands and take an enormous terrorist sized crap on it. There are hundreds of different angles! Why can’t it be that the Muslim girl starts falling in love with the Mormon guy on the team? Or why can’t it just be about super cool FBI training ops and things like that? Other people could’ve been terrorists but nope! It’s got to be one of the main characters.

Even if it’s not the Muslim girl that ends up being the secret terrorist, it’s still what everyone else is expecting. This show has just fed into that never ending cycle.

Terrorism aside, I don’t trust ABC to be culturally sensitive with this kind of material. ABC is that old uncle in the family who is clearly a racist, and although he’s trying to mend his ways, he’s going about it all wrong. Take a look at their current roster of ‘diverse’ programming: Blackish, Cristella, Fresh Off the Boat and The Goldbergs which covers the always lacking white perspective.

To now acquire and distribute a show that has both a Bollywood star and a hijabi is their ploy to corner the rest of the market. If the afore mentioned diverse shows were better executed and not so reliant on comical racial stereotyping then maybe I would trust ABC. But they’ve ruined it for me. So I’ll give Quantico a maximum of 5 episodes before I find something insensitive to write about in my next post.