Tags: Homeland | Muslim storyline | Paris attack

'Homeland' May End Muslim Storyline, Denies Link to Paris Attack

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 11:03 AM

When Showtime's hit drama "Homeland" returns next season, fictional CIA case officer Carrie Mathison may be facing off against a chief villain who is not Muslim, but network executives maintain any decision would not be a reaction to recent terrorist attacks in Canada and Paris.

"We’re not necessarily going to stay [with addressing] US relations in the Muslim world," Showtime President David Nevins told an audience at the Television Critics Association press tour, reports Entertainment Weekly.

Nevins said writer-producer Alex Gansa may consider relocating the show for creative purposes, but that a decision had not been made.

"It could be Africa, it could be Europe, it could be back in another place in the Middle East. I don’t expect that show to fall into a formula. I can see it coming back to the U.S. at some point," added Nevins, who conceded that "it’s a bit of a scary time to be a maker of controversial, political truth. It’s been a bad month for free speech around the world."

Speaking after the conclusion of the show's fourth season, Nevins told Variety that the writers wanted the series "to focus on America’s role in the world" and to tell "the story of how difficult America’s position in the world" is at the current international climate.

"They really got at the complexity of the U.S. position in the Muslim world," said Nevins, adding that he hopes any producer "making shows for us" do not shy "away at all from the difficult stuff."

Getting into the complexity of the Muslim world was not well-received by those who believe it caricatures Muslims and Middle Eastern cultures, including Pakistani government officials.

In December, Pakistani diplomats expressed outrage after viewing the entire fourth season of the show for its portraying the capital, Islamabad, as a "grimy hellhole and war zone," the New York Post reported.

"Maligning a country that has been a close partner and ally of the U.S. … is a disservice not only to the security interests of the U.S. but also to the people of the U.S.," said Pakistan Embassy spokesman Nadeem Hotiana.

The diplomats directly contacted the show's producers to also complain about how their language was used.

Addressing the criticism the show received from Pakistani officials, Nevins downplayed the controversy, saying he thought "the Pakistani embassy handled it the way that you’re supposed to handle it. They released a statement through the press representing their side. That’s how the game is supposed to be played."

Criticism has been leveled at the show by others who contend it unfairly stereotypes Islamic culture.

Writing in The Washington Post, New York City-based writer Laura Durkay maintained that "Homeland" "has churned out Islamophobic stereotypes as if its writers were getting paid by the cliché" and "is riddled with basic errors about Islam and the Middle East," while broadly stereotyping Muslims.

While Nevins takes criticism with a grain of salt, other networks have canceled programming rather than potentially offending special interest groups.

In 2014, the ABC Family decided to shelve "Alice in Arabia," a show focused on an American girl who is kidnapped by her Saudi Arabian family, after it received criticism from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, according to Variety.

"The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we’ve decided not to move forward with this project," a spokesman for the network told the magazine.

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When Showtime's hit drama "Homeland" returns next season, fictional CIA case officer Carrie Mathison may be facing off against a chief villain who is not Muslim, but network executives maintain any decision would not be a reaction to recent terrorist attacks in Canada and Paris.
Homeland, Muslim storyline, Paris attack
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2015-03-13
Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 11:03 AM
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