New York Times to Homeland: Why R U So Racist?

homeland promo shot

Today in The New York Times, a newspaper still available in print, it was reported that Showtime’s Homeland is racist against Muslims! And three Egyptians artists socked it to the man, and not by murderizing everyone on the set, but by an act of sabotage – with WORDS!

The show’s producers hired three Egyptian artists Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and “Stone” to authenticate the place by writing some graffiti on the wall of a fictional Syrian refugee camp in a fictional Lebanon. What did they actually write? “Homeland is racist,” “There is no Homeland,” and “Homeland is not a Show.”

And guess what? Because the show doesn’t have a resident technical expert in Arab, nobody noticed and it was on last week’s episode!

Even the show’s producers were impressed and tried to spin being totally owned by noting their admiration for this work of “artistic sabotage.”

Specifically, the artists worry that the show’s “brainwashing” will have a real impact on foreign policy because people (Americans mostly) are getting their information from the show and “can’t differentiate between facts and fiction.”

Now whose stereotyping whom, Egyptian artists? Americans do NOT get all their information about the Middle East from Homeland. We also have The Daily Show.

What are some of their particular objections? One is that there is a former real-life Ambassador named Huisain Haqquain who is a gentleman and scholar and the show named a terrorist leader after him. Another is that they depicted a street in Beirut as a hotbead of intrigue and terrorist activity when really it’s a shopping mecca with a Starbucks. But maybe the biggest objection was the Season 3 stuff about how the Iranians were really behind the whole Al Queda plot to send back Brody after he had been turned so he could assassinate the Vice President or infiltrate the government or whatever it was that he was supposed to do, which was super ridiculous because the Shiite Iranians hate Al Queda and vice versa AS POINTED OUT ONCE UPON ON THESE VERY DIGITAL PAGES BY THIS HUMBLE RECAPPER.

But is the show in fact helplessly stereotypical in its depiction of the Muslims? On last week’s episode we learned about Hezbollah’s most excellent refund policy, and last season we season we were shown that Pakistani military and intelligence officers are really sharp dressers and amongst the most beautiful people in the world. So probably these “artists” are being way too sensitive because that’s how those people are, by which we mean artists. What did you think we meant?

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

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