Lebanon Is Pissed, Cry-Facing At ‘Homeland’

Senior Pop Culture Editor
10.20.12 13 Comments

If Lebanon was a person, it’d look like Claire Danes (and definitely NOT Israel) above. They’re cry-facing and cry-facing HARD about a recent episode of Showtime’s Homeland, “Beirut Is Back,” not because that’s a dumb name for an episode of a great show, but because it was an unflattering portrayal of Lebanon (the AP story begins with, “Militants carrying assault weapons clear the area around a street…”), yet filmed in Israel.

The show about Arab terrorists and American turncoats has inadvertently become a tale of two cities. Some Beirutis are angry because the depiction of their city as swarming with militiamen is misleading and because they see Israel as the enemy. And in Israel, some are peeved that Haifa and even Tel Aviv — a self-styled nightlife capital and high-tech hub — apparently appear, to outsiders at least, to be Middle Eastern after all.

Lebanese Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told The Associated Press on Thursday that he’s so upset about the portrayal of Beirut that he’s considering a lawsuit.

“The information minister is studying media laws to see what can be done,” he said. (Via)

I imagine that quote was said like Charlie with “bird law.” Years ago, Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso criticized an episode of The Simpsons that depicted Rio as “a distorted vision of Brazilian reality,” and the country went so far as to threaten a lawsuit against Fox. So, this isn’t anything new, though it seems like Lebanon is more pissed at Homeland portraying Israel as basically the same thing as their country than anything else. To which I say: have we already forgotten the great Caroline in the (New York) City Crisis of 1996? IT WAS SET IN CALIFORNIA. But after six days, we got over it, and now we’re better off for it. Learn from our mistakes.

Also, I like this:

Several Lebanese interviewed by the AP said they have never heard of the show. When a reporter described the plot and said it was shot in Israel, the reactions ranged from anger to blithe acceptance that filmmaking is an imperfect art. (Via)

Clearly the Israelis learned to blithely accept film as an imperfect art from the Germans (who the hell else would phrase it that way), so, really, why can’t we all get along?

(Via AP)

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