“Homeland is racist.”
“There is no Homeland.”
“Homeland is not a series.”
For the observant Arabic speakers watching last Sunday’s episode of Homeland, these are some of the messages they may have noticed scrawled on the walls behind main character Carrie Mathison. For the rest of the TV audience, well, they didn’t have to wait long to find out.
On Thursday, the three artists hired to design the set of a Syrian refugee camp with Arabic graffiti blogged about “hacking” the show with subversive messages.
The “Arabian Street Artists,” as they refer to themselves in the post, are Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Stone. They say they were initially reluctant to be a part of the show, because they see the show’s portrayal of the Middle East and its people, particularly Muslims, as racist. But they decided to use the opportunity to make a statement.
And make a statement they did.
In the blog post revealing their actions, they wrote that they wanted to undercut the message of the show:
“The series has garnered the reputation of being the most bigoted show on television for its inaccurate, undifferentiated and highly biased depiction of Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghans, as well as its gross misrepresentations of the cities of Beirut, Islamabad- and the so-called Muslim world in general. For four seasons, and entering its fifth, Homeland has maintained the dichotomy of the photogenic, mainly white, mostly American protector versus the evil and backwards Muslim threat.”