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Artists write 'Homeland is racist' graffiti on set

Warning: This story contains spoilers

Graffiti reading "Homeland is racist" on the set Image copyright Courtesy of the artists
Image caption The message reading "Homeland is racist"

Artists hired by the makers of the US show Homeland to write graffiti on one of its sets in Berlin say they wrote messages criticising the show's alleged stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims.

The artists wrote graffiti reading "Homeland is racist" and "Homeland is rubbish", among others.

They say they were asked to write the graffiti in June to "lend authenticity" to a set depicting a refugee camp.

The episode featuring the set in question aired on 11 October in the US.

It will be broadcast on Sunday in the UK.

Some of the messages were briefly visible in the background of the scenes depicting a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon.

Image copyright Courtesy of the artists
Image caption "Homeland is not a series" - one of the messages the graffiti artists wrote
Image copyright Courtesy of the artists
Image caption "Homeland is a watermelon" - a play on an Arabic expression meaning something rubbish or insignificant
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Actors Claire Danes and Damian Lewis have both received Emmy awards for their work on Homeland

The artists said in a statement that they were initially reluctant about the commission "until we considered what a moment of intervention could relay about our own and many others' political discontent with the series".

"It was our moment to make our point by subverting the message using the show itself," they said.

They said that no-one working on the show checked what it was that they were actually writing, with the set designers "too frantic to pay any attention to us" and the Arabic script treated as "merely a supplementary visual".

Caram Kapp, one of the artists, told the BBC: "In this graffiti we are trying to call for a more differentiated view of the region, and we're also trying to say that things aren't as simple as they seem on this show."

In the second series of the show, its depiction of the Lebanese capital Beirut sparked criticism with many pointing out that its portrayal of the city's central Hamra Street thoroughfare bore little relation to reality.

Some Pakistani viewers were also irked by the way the Pakistani capital Islamabad was depicted in a later series, as well as the fact that a terrorist character's name was almost identical to that of a previous Pakistani ambassador to the US.

The episode featuring the set in question aired on 11 October in the US. It will be broadcast on Sunday in the UK.

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