Once upon a time, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay passed the time by spending hours upon hours with boy wizard Harry Potter and his many literary adventures. Now, it would seem, their tastes have to shifted to the trials and tribulations of a West Philadelphia teen who found himself moving to Bel Air after getting in a schoolyard scuffle. According to The Miami Herald, prisoners have taken a serious liking to Will Smith’s 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
So popular is the series with the 168 inmates that the prison librarian has ordered all six seasons. When asked why the prisoners had taken a sudden liking to the show out of the 28,000 items available for their perusal, no definite answers could be given. Maybe this is just the program’s universal appeal in motion.
Librarian Milton, who only gives his first name when addressing the media, explained that, overall, interest in the library’s inventory has dwindled over the years, as inmates have found other things to help pass their time inside the prison. The Harry Potter books, once a hot commodity, now sit untouched. As Milton puts it, “They’re over that.”
The Herald reports that prisoners often watch the shows together on flat-screen televisions bolted the wall inside a plexiglass barrier. Viewings can take place at just about any time of the day. Those who are housed in the maximum security unit are allowed to watch TV inside a solitary cell while shackled to a bolt in the floor. These individuals are limited to around two hours of entertainment per day.
According to NBC News, those individuals housed by the United States at Guantanamo Bay are from all walks of life. However, many of the inmates were rounded up following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11 terrorist attacks.