Nervous, that must be it, so when are you going to get back on topic, nitwit?
So you're the judge
Methinks you have major english language deficiencies,
Zimmerman seems to have a knack for getting into bazaar situations.
You keep trying to add audience participation to the Hawkeye Show.
I ain't biting.
When the **** will you get back onto the topic, about what a racist piece of twattle "Homeland" is.
Last week, during the broadcast of Showtime’s popular thriller series, Homeland, those who read Arabic were treated to a similar bit of buried code. As the star of the show, Cliare Danes, walks through what is supposed to be a Syrian refugee camp, she passes a wall of graffiti in Arabic script. What she didn’t know – what no one on the set knew, apparently – was what that bit of graffiti meant.
“Homeland is racist,” is what it said. And in another scene, another piece of graffiti said, when translated from the Arabic, “Homeland is a joke.” And later, another piece of Arabic graffiti: “This show does not represent the views of the artists.”
No one noticed this until the show was broadcast for the first time, last week.
What had happened is that, like the presidential speech writers, the Arabian street artists hired to dress the set, had decided to send a message of their own.
That no one on the set, no one who saw the footage later, no one involved with the programme at all, could read the graffiti – that is, that no one associated with a programme that deals exclusively with the Middle East and the Arabic-speaking world, could actually, you know, read Arabic – suggests that the young artists have a pretty compelling point.
It’s remarkable how much scrutiny a television series is subjected to. The scripts are read and reread by a small army of executives, who pepper the writers and producers with suggestions and questions and all sorts of “help”. And when they’re done, the lawyers step in. The scripts are treated to an almost forensic legal exam, with each line of dialogue and story twist examined for their potential to lead to an expensive lawsuit.
And it doesn’t stop with the script. When that’s done, they move on to the actual set. Lawyers pore over almost every detail, looking for instances of copyright infringement or unpaid brand placement. In Hollywood, before a series is shot, we call this the “walk through” – and that’s exactly what it is: a half-dozen or so humourless lawyers in colourless outfits walk through the sets with pursed and dour expressions, asking for certain visible brand-names to be obscured, or for labels to be painted over.
They may have done this on the set of Homeland, too. But since none of the lawyers or executives or set decorators or writers or directors or actors or producers or anyone associated with the show reads Arabic, it didn’t matter.
I’ll leave it to others to judge whether the show – or any show, frankly – is “racist”. But it’s fair to say, at the very least, that it’s a little bit lazy.
Whenever I’m running a television show, I like to make sure that I have one or two people around who are familiar with the world I’m trying to depict. When I did a show about people who walk dogs for a living, I made sure to have a few professional dog-walkers available for consultation. When I did a show about a Korean family, I felt better knowing I had some actual, breathing Koreans handy.
I once did a show set in a book store, and when a young writer applied for a position on the writing staff, she started her interview by telling me that her parents ran a book store and she grew up working there. I hired her on the spot. And remember, I’m a comedy writer. Nobody expects too much detail work in a sitcom.
A thriller set in the Arab-speaking world, on the other hand, would do well to have a bunch – more than three, say – Arabic-speaking folks around the production. That might help avert embarrassments, and it also might give the show a more balanced and realistic tone. Perhaps after last week the producers of Homeland have learnt that lesson. Inshallah.