Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lebanese backlash television show Homeland

Lebanese Tourism Minister Faddy Abboud has threatened to sue the producers of the U.S. cable show Homeland for misrepresenting the city of Beirut.

 Ironically, the show – about a CIA counterterrorism agent – is set in the Lebanese capital, but shot in Tel Aviv.

Aside from the insult of having the Jewish state’s bustling metropolis stand in for his country’s largest city, Abboud apparently fears that the show’s depiction of Beirut will affect tourism and damage his country’s image.

 In one episode, Carrie Mathison, the CIA officer, is shown dodging bullets in the streets of Beirut, while another scene shows her meeting representatives of the terror group Hezbollah on Hamra Street, which was depicted as something of a warzone.

 Abboud, however, insists that in reality, Hamra Street is a flourishing thoroughfare, filled with popular shops and cafes.

 “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 the producer,” Abboud told Executive magazine.

“This series has a lot of viewers, and if you are promoting Lebanon as a non-secure zone, it will affect tourism. It will mean a lot of foreigners stay away if they are convinced by what they see.”

 He went on to claim that “Beirut is one of the most secure capitals in the world, more secure than London or New York. We would like to welcome the crews here to film in this city.

We were offended by the fact that they filmed the thing in Israel and said it was Beirut.”

However, because Israel and Lebanon are officially at war, shooting Homeland in Beirut would be difficult, since it’s co-creator, Gideon Raff, is an Israeli, and Israeli citizens are barred from Lebanon.

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