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‘Homeland’ Accused of Racism in Arabic Graffiti That Appeared in Latest Episode

The words “‘Homeland’ is racist” were hidden in plain sight on Sunday’s episode of “Homeland.”

Star Claire Danes’ character, CIA agent Carrie Mathison, passes by a wall at a former refugee camp graffitied with the phrase in Arabic.

Other messages at the camp that made it on air include “There is NO ‘Homeland,'” “‘Homeland’ is watermelon,” (meaning “Homeland” shouldn’t be trusted), “‘Homeland’ is NOT a series” and “‘Homeland’ is a joke and it didn’t make us laugh.”

“Homeland” co-creator/showrunner Alex Gansa said he admired the “act of artistic sabotage.”

“We wish we’d caught these images before they made it to air,” Gansa said. “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.”

Three “Arabian street artists” — Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Stone — have taken credit for the act, which they say was driven by their disdain for the award-winning show’s “highly biased” depictions of Arabs, Pakistanis and Afghans, and its “gross misrepresentations of the cities of Beirut, Islamabad and the so-called Muslim world in general.”

“It was our moment to make our point by subverting the message using the show itself,” they said. “The content of what was written on the walls was of no concern. In their eyes, Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East.”

In the episode, Danes’ character visits a former refugee camp on the Syrian/Lebanese border. The ep, the second of the newest season, was actually shot on the outskirts of Berlin — the setting for season five.

The Showtime series has come under attack in the past for its depictions of the Middle East. Season four was criticized for its storyline implying that Pakistani officials were aiding the Taliban, while season two was attacked for its depiction of Beirut’s Hamra district.

Graffiti on the right wall reads “Homeland is racist.”
Graffiti on the right reads “Repetition teaches Bashar” (A play on Repetition teaches the Donkey, homar, which rhymes with Bashar). Translation via http://www.hebaamin.com/

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