US Iranians irked by ‘Tehrangeles’ show

US Iranians irked by ‘Tehrangeles’ show

LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
US Iranians irked by ‘Tehrangeles’ show

Characters are shown in a scene from the new series ‘Shahs of Sunset.’ AP photo

A new reality TV show about the lavish lifestyles of rich young American-Iranians in Los Angeles has sparked angry claims it is degrading, and exploits the Persian community’s image for ratings.

At least two Facebook pages have been set up to protest against “Shahs of Sunset,” which depicts a group of well-to-do friends partying and shopping on exclusive Rodeo Drive.

The show is set in Tehrangeles, the name given to the West Coast metropolis’s Persian community -- 20 percent of Beverly Hills’ residents are of Iranian stock -- said to be the biggest outside the Islamic Republic.

Critics are concerned that it further taints the reputation of a community which already has something of an image problem.

“It’s just putting a very bad spin on something that we already have,” said Jimmy Delshad, who came to the US as a teenager and rose to be mayor of Beverly Hills, twice.

Bravo, the channel which airs the show, describes it as following “a group of friends who are trying to juggle their active social lives and up-and-coming careers while balancing the demands of their families and traditions.”