A collection of street artists going by the name the Arabian Street Artists were able to sneak the graffiti message “Homeland is racist” on to last Sunday’s episode of Homeland, the group announced in a blog post on Wednesday.
The group was approached by a street artist friend in June who had been asked to produce street art for sets, shot in Berlin and taking place in a Syrian refugee camp on the Syria-Lebanon border, that might add to the show’s “authenticity.” They described their instructions as follows:
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 okay of course”.
Instead, they decided to express “our own and many others’ political discontent with the series” by inserting several anti-Homeland messages onto the scenery, including “this show does not represent the views of the artists,” “#blacklivesmatter,” and an Arabic idiom calling Homeland a “watermelon” and meaning that means it’s a “sham.”
As you can see in the above still from the show, the “Homeland is racist” line apparently actually made it on to Sunday’s episode.
In explaining their reason for graffiti-bombing the Showtime program, the artists cited a Washington Post article titled “ ‘Homeland’ Is the Most Bigoted Show on Television,” which critiques the program’s purported “Islamophobic stereotypes.”
Homeland co-creator Alex Gansa told Time magazine that he’d have removed the graffiti had it been caught in time but also had a grudging respect for the protest.
“As Homeland always strives to be subversive in its own right and a stimulus for conversation, we can’t help but admire this act of artistic sabotage,” he said.