UPDATE: “Homeland” showrunner Alex Gansa says in a statement to Zap2it that they admire the street artists’ stunt.
“We wish we’d caught these images before they made it to air. However, as ‘Homeland’ always strives to be subversive in its own right and a stimulus for conversation, we can’t help but admire this act of artistic sabotage,” says Gansa.
The original story continues below
Hit drama “Homeland” has been showered with awards during its run on Showtime. But not everyone has been pleased with the show’s depiction of Muslims and other people of Middle Eastern descent, with the Harvard Political Review calling it “Islamophobia” and making Muslims “synonymous with terrorists.”
Now a group of artists hired to create Arabic graffiti on the sets are voicing their displeasure with the drama in a subversive way — by creating on-set graffiti that criticizes the show.
Artists Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and one known simply as “Stone” published a blog post Wednesday (Oct. 14) called “Arabian Street Artists Bomb Homeland: Why We Hacked an Award-Winning Series,” which details why they wanted to make their issues known via their art.
“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,” write the artists. “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.”
The artists’ graffiti includes phrases like “This show does not represent the viewers of the artists,” “Homeland is racist,” “Homeland is a joke, and it didn’t make us laugh” and “Homeland is a watermelon” (a watermelon being a slang term for a sham).
Amin tells the Washington Post that this was a subversive way to make a point.
“It’s very important for us to address the idea that this kind of stereotyping is very dangerous because it helps form people’s perceptions of an entire region, a huge region, which in turn affects foreign policy,” says Amin. “It was a way to claim back our image.”
Photos of the graffiti can be seen on the artists’ blog post.