On October, 7 Showtime aired “Beirut is Back” the second episode of season 2 of the TV Series Homeland. The episode contained negative and degrading depiction of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
Hamra Street, a vibrant and commercial distirct and a touristic attraction in Beirut, was protrayed as a narrow alleyway and a hub of terrorists.Women in the streets , including the TV series’ protagonist, are all headscarved as if all women living in Beirut are forced to dress like that. This is a very common stereotype about women in the Arab Region. For Hollywood, Arab women are always “covered”, “weak” and “subservient”.
On the blog Imagining Lebanon, Louay Khraish criticizes the creators of Homeland:
The creators of “Homeland” have no excuse for their systematic and bigoted portrayal of Beirut and the Lebanese. Scott J. Simon, wrote in his essay “Arabs in Hollywood: An Undeserved Image” that of all the ethnic groups portrayed in media, “Arab culture has been the most misunderstood and supplied with the worst stereotypes.” It seems “Homeland” is continuing in this appalling tradition, and coming from an Emmy-winning drama, it is disheartening and disappointing.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese Tourism Minister Fady Abboud told Executive Magazine that his government is seeking to sue the TV series producers. Homeland is produced by Fox 21, owned by Ruper Murdoch’s News Corporation. The Lebanese Minister comments:
This kind of film damages the image of Lebanon…we want to take action. We want to write to the filmmakers and producers and demand an apology. And we are planning to raise a lawsuit against the director and producer
In the award-winning TV series, Claire Danes plays the role of Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer who is investigating a U.S. Marine Sergeant who she believes works for Al-Qaeda.
The video below is a trailer for Homeland’s Beirut episode.