On this past Sunday’s episode of “Homeland,” CIA agent Carrie Mathison travels to a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon to meet with a Hezbollah commander.
During the scene, Mathison and her companion pass by Arabic graffiti that reads, for those paying attention, “Homeland is racist.”
The artists behind the graffiti have since stepped forward, claiming responsibility for “hacking” the award-winning drama, which has received criticism over the years for its portrayal of Muslims.
The artists — Heba Amin, Caram Kapp, and Stone — were hired by the production company behind “Homeland” to paint graffiti on the show’s set of a fake refugee camp. The artists say they were given examples of pro-President Bashar al-Assad graffiti to model their work after.
The artists say that they have been troubled over the years about the show’s “inaccurate, undifferentiated, and highly biased depictions of Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghans” and said that the show dangerously feeds “into the racism of the hysterical moment we find ourselves in today.”
As such, the artists were sceptical about working on the show, but once they realised they could embed subversive messages into the graffiti, they changed their minds.
Here’s what the artists had to say about their instructions:
In our initial meeting, we were given a set of images of pro-Assad graffiti — apparently natural in a Syrian refugee camp. Our instructions were: (1) the graffiti has to be apolitical (2) you cannot copy the images because of copyright infringement (3) writing “Mohamed is the greatest, is ok of course.”
Despite the guidelines, they found that set decoration was done in such a short period of time that no one was paying attention to, or vetting the graffiti that they were putting on the set. As such, they decided to get increasingly blunt in their message, resulting in the “Homeland is racist” graffiti that ended up in a crucial scene of the show.
Here’s all the graffiti they created for the show:
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