“Homeland,” the long-running Showtime drama about the #war on terror, had some head jerking twists in the most recent season now concluded. Between the distinct impression many viewers had that the show had switched sides to support the Islamic terrorists and the end when the newly elected female president ordered a mass arrest of her opponents in the intelligence and military communities, “Homeland” seemed to take a new, unsettling direction.
Now actor #Mandy Patinkin, who plays spymaster Saul Berenson, opened his mind about the show and his personal attitudes toward the long war.
According to Patinkin, Muslims have somehow become the go-to bad guys in Hollywood, much like the Nazis in World War II dramas or Native Americans in westerns, and that this stance was wrong and racist. He blamed the terror war on “white male politicians” in the military and the #Intelligence Community for whipping up fear of Muslims for their nefarious purposes. He suggested that the newly concluded season was an effort to change the situation and to expose it,
Patinkin’s statement is especially off-putting in that, contrary to what he stated, Hollywood is often reluctant to depict Islamic terrorists as bad guys and, when they do in such series as “24” and “Homeland,” come under heated criticism for racism and profiling. The purveyors of movies and TV shows are more comfortable with right-wing religious fanatics or neo-fascists as villains.
It is as if 9/11 never happened or if it did the planes had been hijacked by blond haired, blue eyed Scandinavians.
Even in “Homeland” Islamist characters are often given motives designed to elicit sympathy. They are not plotting to plant a dirty bomb in a crowded American city in order to establish a world-wide caliphate. They propose to mass murder Americans because some beloved relative was killed for no reason in a drone strike. It is as if the Nazi character that Patinkin referred to is herding Jews to the gas, not out of anti-Semitism, but rather because his wife had run off with a Jewish gentleman before the Nazis took power. The attitude is that grotesque.
In a world in which ISIS is burning people alive and raping little girls whom they made into sexual slaves, one would think that people like Patinkin would get over themselves and recognize that evil comes in all races and colors.
“Homeland,” by all accounts, tanked in the ratings because of the new storyline. Many long-term fans of the show stopped watching and decided to watch other programming where right and wrong are more properly defined.