What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Russian complaints drive “24” to “Muslim well”

NEW YORK, NY -- The writers of Fox's hit drama “24” have succumbed to pressure from radical Russian groups to remove references to Russian villains. In their stead, Muslims will play the the diabolical and dangerous characters who threaten major US cities with suitcase nukes and otherwise keep Jack Bauer's day interesting.

“We really feel this is a step in the right direction,” said Russian liaison an former KGB agent Boris Innokentiy. “When a popular show like '24' goes out there and presents such a negative image of us to the viewers, who knows what could happen?” Innokentiy cites several incidents of anti-Russian violence and a growing trend of “Ruski stereotyping,” which he says threatens “all Russians, anywhere.”

Yegor Anton of the Post-Cold War Peace Project and KGB sympathizer notes that the animosity was increasing at an alarming rate during the last season. “Shows like '24' gave viewers a reason to hate us, adding fuel to the Putin-hater's fire. The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Russians.” Anton even fears for his life, noting that “[a]fter watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn't sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality.”

The shows move to Muslim villains is motivated by lower casting costs and increased scariness. Jeffrey Reynolds, the former executive producer of the “24,” explained, saying: “In today's world, Arabs are the bad guys. Ever since 9/11, nobody wants to sit near one on a bus or plane and, God forbid, befriend a Muslim. They make great villains.”

The writers of “24” issued a statement defending the move, saying “[t]he show has made a concerted effort to show ethnic, religious and political groups as multidimensional, and political issues are debated from multiple viewpoints. You'll see that in this season as Jack Bauer actually hesitates before shooting a terrorist, I mean a Muslim. The Muslim and Arab wells are deep, very deep, and we intend to return to them often.”

Kahlid Al-Jihad, a Muslim activist and former correspondent for Al-Jazeerah, took the news of the switch with quiet rage. “Someday America will regret offending us as it has. Praise be to Allah! Death to '24.'” The Muslim community is preparing a heavy media blitz in an attempt to salvage public opinion.

Despite the change, not all Russian leaders are satisfied. “We need the show to write in sympathetic Russian characters to reverse the anti-Ruski sentiments among the viewers and Fox should donate some cash to our slush fund in an act of goodwill. That might make things right,” said Innokentiy.

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