Egyptian Actor, Waleed Hammad
Mr. Griffin's journalistic efforts to experience the segregated south were later turned into a movie. His gesture at understanding seemed well-intentioned. But some African-Americans didn't think much of it.
Malcom X considered it a kind of stunt, saying if it was a frightening to be: "a make-believe Negro for 66 days, then think what real Negroes in America have gone through for 400 years".
This month witnessed another prominent effort to walk in someone else's shoes. An Egyptian actor disguised himself as a woman for a TV program to experience the harassment Egyptian women endure. Hidden cameras followed him as he walked through Cairo's streets. He got attention worldwide.
Actor Waleed Hammad was in Cairo.
Panel: Jan Wong / Bob Steele
Is it justifiable, ethical or even helpful for people to disguise themselves as members of a marginalized, targeted or oppressed group to help shed light on what they endure?
From time to time on The Current, we take a critical look at the media and the job the media does. It's part of an occasional series we're calling Eye on the Media.
And so to discuss this, we were joined by two guests.
Jan Wong is an author and journalism professor at St Thomas University in Fredericton. She wrote a series called Maid For A Month for The Globe and Mail in 2006, She lived with her two boys on a maid's salary for a month, working for a cleaning company for minimum wage. She was in our Fredericton studio.
And Bob Steele is a professor of journalism ethics and the Director of The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University. He's also the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values. He was in Greencastle, Indiana.
This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar, Karin Marley and Sujata Berry.
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