Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lebanon Thinking Of Suing Showtime's "Homeland" Producers

Unfortunately, I've never seen the Emmy award-winning "Homeland" since I don't have Showtime, but it looks really interesting. Based on an Israeli TV series "Hatufim" (Prisoners of War), the U.S. version is obviously quite different. Our "Homeland" deals with the return of an American prisoner of war, and the possibility that he was "turned" by Al Qaeda while in captivity.  Shot mostly in Charlotte, NC- subbing for Virginia and Washington DC-  some scenes have been filmed in Israel- subbing for Lebanon. That happens all the time, for various reasons. In the case of Charlotte, all the NC film incentives wooed the production there. As for Lebanon, well that's quite obvious- Israel is a much friendlier and safer country to film in than Lebanon, these days, especially since the co-creator Gideon Raff is Israeli.

But not everyone is thrilled about the 'thriller'. Lebanon is actually threatening to sue the production company because they feel the series shows them in an unflattering light.

A tourism minister told multiple media outlets this week that Lebanon is considering suing the Emmy-award-winning Showtime series because of its unflattering portrayal of Lebanon.
This kind of film damages the image of Lebanon — it is not fair to us and it’s not true, it is not portraying reality,” Fadi Abboud told the Beirut-based Executive magazine. “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 pointed to a recent “Homeland” episode that featured snipers on Hamra Street in West Beirut, which according to the Associated Press is a lively neighborhood filled with cafes, book stores and bars.
“It showed Hamra Street with militia roaming in it. This does not reflect reality,” he told the AP. “It was not filmed in Beirut and does not portray the real image of Beirut.”

It's called a  'TV SERIES' folks, not a documentary, and they can portray Lebanon in whatever manner they choose.

They are also pissed off that the Lebanon scenes have been filmed in Tel Aviv.

A Lebanese woman told the AP it’s “insulting” for Tel Aviv to stand in for Beirut, saying, “Israel destroyed our country. Israel invaded and occupied our country.” 

Hezbollah leaders have never heard of the production, but will look into it.

Good luck with that law suit.

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