'The Real' Hit With Discrimination Complaint Over Muslim Head Scarf Controversy
Two female audience members wearing religious head coverings were allegedly told to stay out of view of the show's cameras.
The Real has landed in hot water.
The L.A. branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) has filed a complaint against the daytime talk show, alleging that two Muslim audience members wearing head scarves were asked to remain out of the cameras' view.
According to the complaint, filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the alleged incident took place in February during a taping on the Warner Bros. lot. The women wearing hijabs were told as they entered the taping that the studio's policy prevented them from sitting in the front row, and so the women complied, according to the advocacy group.
"Warner Bros. has no legal justification for removing the hijab-wearing women from the camera's view," said CAIR-LA attorney Fatima Dadabhoy. "No studio should maintain such a discriminatory policy that prohibits people wearing religious head coverings from being seen in its studio audiences."
Dadabhoy added that it's "baffling" for a show that seemingly celebrates diversity to "want to hide their visibly Muslim viewers."
The studio told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement that it is investigating the complaint. "Warner Bros. policy is to welcome everyone and anyone into our studio audience," the statement read. "The Real is a show that was created to represent and celebrate diversity. We take this inquiry seriously and are looking into the matter."
Additionally, a source tells THR that Warners never received a formal complaint from CAIR-LA and has not been given details regarding when exactly the taping took place. The studio had not heard about the alleged February flap until this week.
The Real is hosted by Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley. It landed a second-season pickup in February.
April 23, 10:20 a.m. Updated with Warner Bros.' statement.