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Fox's '24' reboot criticized for rehashing Muslim stereotypes

A screen shot from the trailer of Fox's new show
A screen shot from the trailer of Fox's new show "24: Legacy."

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For many fans of Fox's long-running show "24," the show and its lead character, Jack Bauer, are inextricably linked.

But after the Super Bowl on Sunday night, Fox will introduce TV viewers to a new hero: Eric Carter, played by Corey Hawkins.

"24: Legacy" is the reboot of "24," the long-running series in which Kiefer Sutherland's character would foil international terror plots (often orchestrated by Muslim terrorists) all in the course of one day. And while Jack Bauer isn't a part of the new version of "24," the familiar Muslim villains are.

The show will premiere just a week after President Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

"24: Legacy" was filmed before anyone knew that an executive action like this could be on the horizon, but the fact that the bad guys in the reboot are radical Muslim operatives has reignited the same criticism that the original "24" faced over its depictions of Middle Easterners.

IndieWire TV critic Ben Travers describes the spinoff as the "reboot of the ticking-clock action franchise we might want ... but do not need."

Interview highlights:

On the decision to revisit themes of past seasons of '24,' with plots centered on Muslim or Middle Eastern terrorists

Honestly, I don't fully understand it. It doesn't really seem fit for the time. It's an issue they've dealt with over and over again. Even within the story, there's an opportunity for them to talk about domestic terrorism and more pertinent issues to today that wouldn't be as sensitive or as rough-edged for people to absorb, especially after the Super Bowl. But it's something we're so familiar with, with that kind of sensation of creating the "other," of creating someone who looks different and acts different and therefore is the bad guy ... I feel like they just went back to a tried-and-true formula and decided not to worry about it.

On the more progressive elements of the new series

One of my favorites was the fact that during the initial attack [that opens the series], Corey Hawkins' wife actually shoots one of the terrorists. So she has this moment where she takes over and does her own thing and she seems like she can handle herself pretty well. And then sadly she's kind of sidelined for the next few episodes ... I also liked that they made the star an African American. Corey Hawkins is a great actor, we've seen him in 'Straight Outta Compton.' He does a great job. He seems to handle the role very well. The only problem is that there's just not a lot going on to distinguish the character, especially when you're trying to overcome the idea of not having Jack Bauer anymore.

The Frame reached out to the Fox Network for comment, but they declined our invitation.

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