A lot of people around the world have ideas of what America is like, possibly thanks to Hollywood, or their local news channels, and maybe from what they’ve heard from families and friends. But then, they came here, to the grand old United States and their minds exploded. Taken from Quora.
I don't really know if this qualifies as "controversy", but we do seem to go back and forth a bit in this forum about how the United States is understood/seen/etc outside of the country. Someone forwarded me this article today and I thought it was actually kind of interesting. It reminded me (on a much larger scale) of what it was like to move from Kansas City to Austin - sometimes the culture shock just hits you in weird ways.
The answers are taken from Quora, which requires a sign-in, but there's more there.