Why I Hate America
I just finished watching The Philanthropist, which had the makings of a great show until I watched it.
The story line is great, but it's so unbelievably, incredulously offensive to Nigerians that all I could do while it played was gape as one after another amazing inaccuracy smashed onto my screen.
I don't really hate America, but I do hate that when Americans make a movie about Europe, they do their research so thoroughly (especially for the period pieces) that you are literally transported into the place, era, or whatever they are trying to show you, BUT when they make a movie about anywhere in Africa, they don't even bother to get the simplest facts straight.
All I can say is: Anyone that has ever heard the word 'Google' can tell you that there are NO HURRICANES IN NIGERIA.
Here's a copy of the post I made on NBC's message board for their Ask the Expert feature.
Hi, I'm Nigerian and I pretty much watched the pilot with my mouth hanging open in disbelief. There were so many gross inaccuracies that I don't even know where to begin. Abuja is a huge, sprawling modern, shiny, beautiful city and for you to portray it as a muddy village is beyond insulting.
Also, it was glaringly obvious to me (and to any other African that watches this episode) that most of the cast in this show were Southern and Eastern Africans. Very few were Nigerians or even West Africans. The accents were so totally off-mark it's not even funny. The languages spoken were totally wrong, but the dressing was the worst. Total fail. People from different parts of Nigeria are INSTANTLY distinguishable by their traditional clothing. I'm Nigerian, I've lived in Nigeria all my life, and I couldn't even tell who was supposed to be who. The names of the places were not much better. There is nowhere like Kujeru in Nigeria.
But worst of all, the absolute worst of all was the whole premise that the pilot episode was based on: A Hurricane in Nigeria. ANY Nigerian will tell you that there are NO hurricanes in Nigeria. What is even more comical is the fact that a mudslide supposedly killed off the people in Kujeru (which according to this show is a little ways east of Abuja). If anyone producing this show had bothered to just Google Nigeria, they would know that a mudslide of any magnitude in Northern Nigeria is a huge impossibility.
The portrayal of Nigeria as a place where everyone carries guns is totally inaccurate. Most Nigerians have never seen a gun inside Nigeria except those carried by policemen, soldiers, or robbers. I do not know if the production team was confusing the current crisis in the Niger Delta with the rest of Nigeria, but as far as accuracy or authenticity goes, this show scores very poor marks.
So, since most American shows by the major television networks have pretty sizeable budgets I would like to know WHY the production team could not pay the kid next door five bucks to print out even a Wikipedia article for them on Nigeria. From this one episode it is evident that no research whatsoever was done on my country when this episode was shot, and it also seems to me that parts of the show weren't even shot in Nigeria.
Can you please tell me why noone bothered to even find out the basic facts about life in Nigeria? Can you tell me why you have Southern and East Africans acting as Nigerians (and doing a terrible job by the way)? Can you tell me why your billionaire is saving a boy from a hurricane in Nigeria when there have never been any hurricanes in Nigeria? What was all the production money used for if The Philanthropist can't even show an accurate picture of Nigeria? Villages in Nigeria don't even look like that. Any Nigerian will tell you. There are pictures of Nigeria all over the place. I don't know where this show is getting its information about Nigeria but seriously you need to check your sources because they are totally wrong."
Let's see if they reply.