My Concerns Over Rumors About the Forthcoming Season of American Horror Story

I hear it may be set in New Orleans.

I hear there may be Voodoo involved. Which would make sense if it's set in New Orleans.

I'm not going to get into my personal background, but let's say that I'm from that area and have some reservations about the cultural stereotypes that a show like American Horror Story is likely to promote. I will be very, very disappointed if they misrepresent my culture, either the people or religious underpinnings.

I realize, of course, that AHS is hardly realistic, nor is it trying or claiming to be. A show like that—hell, most horror—capitalizes on the misunderstandings of things like Catholicism and (now, possibly) Voodoo. It takes what people think they know, those stereotypes and old tales, and uses it as shorthand to draw people into the story. So I can't and won't be surprised if AHS plays such a hand here.

But I don't have to like it.

People sometimes call and ask me to meet them in New Orleans and show them around, and I'm happy to do it. But I often have to ask, "Do you want a tourist experience or an authentic experience?" Because, hey, even natives capitalize on the misperceptions of our culture. The difference here being that the culture sustains itself through such tourism. They benefit from it.

And you could argue that it will benefit from a display by AHS as well. If they actually film in New Orleans, that's money for the city. If the show prompts interest in people to visit, that's more money coming in. And that's good, it's fine. But if it intentionally misleads viewers, or causes a backlash against our culture and/or belief systems, that is not fine. So here's hoping they treat the subject matter with at least a little respect.

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