Thursday, October 15, 2015

Homeland, a racist show? – L’Express

The scene probably has not entertained the creators of Homeland . In the episode aired Sunday in the United States, the former CIA agent Carrie Mathison visits a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. On the wall in front of which the heroine goes, one can read tags in Arabic: “ Homeland is racist” or “ Homeland is a joke and it does not make us laugh “.

A tag made by Heba Amin denouncing racism d 'Homeland

A tag made by Heba Amin denouncing racism of Homeland

Heba Amin

A misconception? Far from it. This is the work of artists claimed, originally used by the studios to make more “realistic” decor. Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Stone, the authors of the tags in question, have the opportunity to hack the show, no one on the set noticing

Their ambition. denouncing a series that they feel “racist” and stuffed with stereotypes. On its website, Heba Amin, one of them, made of pictures exposes tags, and explains in detail its desire to “take over” his “malaise”.

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Stereotypes galore

This is not the first time that Homeland wipes such criticism. Laila Al-Arian, a journalist with Al Jazeera denounced already in 2012 an “Islamophobic” series and notices its many inaccuracies, as Arab names mispronounced, or a Persian name given to a Palestinian character. Another bone of contention was the same year, diplomatic consequences. Indeed, at the beginning of the second season, the heroine Carrie Mathison “disguises” to go unnoticed in a street presented as “dangerous” in Beirut, capital of Lebanon.

In the extract, the CIA agent is veiled, has brown hair and black lenses. Nonsense contributor to the Washington Post , Laura Durkay, writer, recalling how this street, Hamra Street, is cosmopolitan, frequented by the gilded youth, and located close to the University American. One suspects that if Carrie Mathison is “grime” is to go unnoticed. However, according to Laura Durkay, blonde and unveiled, Carrie would have had the same result. Above all, this portrait of the occupied Lebanese capital with impunity by Islamic terrorists, seriously irritated the country’s government. The then Minister of Tourism has protested in the pages of Executive Magazine , claiming to want to bring the case to court. “This kind of abyss movies Lebanon’s image. It is neither fair nor true,” he said.

glaring errors

Two years later, the promotional poster of the fourth season still stirs controversy. Mattison Carrie wears a red veil, the middle of a black burqas tide. A metaphor of “Little Red Riding Hood” surrounded by “‘wolves’ faceless Muslim” laments Laura Durkay again. This time, the plot is located mainly in Pakistan. An image judged by some on social networks demeaning towards Muslims and the country.

Homeland, a racist show?


When asked by Buzzfeed , Muhammad Jibran Nasir, a Pakistani leading avocado, Meanwhile, the prejudices of Homeland on his country: the way women dress themselves, US diplomats security very underestimated, poor translation Urdu (the national language) without forgetting the enemy number 1 of the series, Haissam Haqqani, namesake of a (true) Pakistani ambassador to the United States.

Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda allies

The reproaches addressed to Homeland are as much about form than substance. An error recurs regularly. And it’s size. The series has repeatedly Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, as allies. However, this situation is inconceivable between these organizations, which belong to two currents of Islam, the first being Sunni, Shia second.

In addition Slate remark additional aberrations on Lebanon, with confusion between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, and an approximation of the number of armed militias that are still active since the end of civil war in 1990 . Some critics are not unlike those attributed to a similar series, 24 Hours stopwatch, accused to justify the use of torture. The rapprochement between the two shows is inevitable. No wonder when you know that the producer Howard Gordon has developed both projects.

Problems on American television

Homeland certainly concentrates the disapproval of his description of the Muslim world. It is however not the only one in this case. This critique of characters’ stereotypical aliens “is recurrent in American television. Series Netflix Narcos , released in September 2015, which chronicles the rise of Pablo Escobar, also angered the Colombian press. Some Colombian columnists have criticized a portrait of “nice” Americans against the “primary” and “dysfunctional” Colombian drug lords.

Very popular comedies are also targeted for their caricatural representation of characters “strangers”. The site Flavorwire , for example, a ranking to denounce clichés, in which appear Modern Family , Once Upon a Time and The Big Bang Theory .


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