Lebanon Might Sue Showtime Series ‘Homeland’
If you heard a country was suing a TV show you would probably think you heard wrong. But, if the Arab nation of Lebanon isn’t assuaged by the makers of the ‘Homeland’ soon enough, it would be a first where a country sues a TV show. Basically, a scene from ‘Homeland’, of militants carrying assault weapons around a street and shouting in Arabic for people to get out of the way, hasn’t gone down too well with Lebanon.
In the show, the place shown is supposed to be Beirut. But, the scene was actually shot in Israel. Israel is in many ways similar to Lebanon and was hence chosen for the shoot, but it also has to be added that Israel and Lebanon are dissimilar in many ways. The issue is that, 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. In fact, Lebanese Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud revealed, 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.
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Turns out, Hamra Street in West Beirut which is portrayed as a hotbed of violence on the show, is actually a lively neighborhood packed with cafes, book shops and pubs. “It showed Hamra Street with militia roaming in it. This does not reflect reality,” Abboud was quoted as saying. “It was not filmed in Beirut and does not portray the real image of Beirut” he added. Twentieth Century Fox Television on its part refused to comment, but probably has kept its legal team on the ready for any kind of eventuality.
Eytan Schwartz, a spokesman for Tel Aviv’s mayor, said the Lebanese should, if anything, be pleased at the TV show’s choice for a stand-in. “If I were Lebanese, with all due respect, I’d be very flattered that a city, and a world heritage site, thanks to its incredible architecture, and residents who were named among the top 10 most beautiful people in the world (ranked by Traveler’s Digest magazine in 2012) could pass as Lebanese,” he said. Schwartz’s logic though, would probably bring little solace to Lebanon, as it feels as if he is rubbing it in, instead of empathizing.
Tags: Homeland, tv news