press release

News from Progress Michigan & ACCESS 

May 7, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot,

WDIV Anchor Makes Disparaging Remark About Michigan’s Arab Population

Comments only fuel hatred toward Michigan’s robust Arab community 

DETROIT — During a segment on Wednesday evening, a WDIV news anchor made a disparaging comment about the state’s Arab population that insinuated that these types of communities harbor ISIS terrorists.

During a report about a social media post that said ISIS had fighters in the United States, WDIV anchor Carmen Harlan ended the segment by saying, “And given the fact that we have the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East, I guess this should not come as a real surprise.”

“These offensive comments based on an unconfirmed threat only stir up animosity toward Michigan’s Arab community,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Comments like these are an example of racial profiling at its worst and Carmen Harlan should apologize immediately.”

Several times throughout the broadcast anchors and reporters made efforts to reiterate that the threat has not been authenticated by security officials.

The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, led by the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a program of ACCESS, urges Harlan to apologize on air for implying during the nightly news broadcast that the Arab American community in Michigan is somehow tied to the extremist group ISIS.

“Carmen Harlan’s comment about the Arab American community is appalling, offensive and dangerous,” said Nadia Tonova, director of NNAAC. “As a reporter, she has a responsibility to remain objective in her reporting and not draw conclusions for her audience. We request that WDIV immediately address this racially charged comment.”

The comment can be viewed here. The online version posted by WDIV has the comment removed.


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