The deadly Islamist terror attack last week against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is forcing many in the media to make hard choices about reporting on or portraying Islam. Showtime’s primetime drama “Homeland,” which deals with terrorist plots threatening the U.S., is weighing the decision to avoid any plots dealing with Islamic terror in the upcoming season, Entertainment Weekly and the Daily Mail reported.
According to Showtime President David Nevins, the show’s writers might take a break from the show’s central conflicts between Muslim and U.S. relations in the upcoming fifth season and may find a new international threat instead, “for creative reasons.” Fox News’ Sean Hannity blasted the decision as the “exactly the worse thing to do” that “empowers” terrorists, using the backlash from the Sony Pictures “The Interview” debacle as a similar example.
At the Television Critics Association press tour Jan. 12, Nevins stated, “We’re not necessarily going to stay now and forever [focusing on] U.S. relations in the Muslim world.” Nevins said they were “exploring a few different possibilities and may change it up a little bit [in the 5th Season.]”
Referencing the Charlie Hebdo shooting in France and North Korea’s alleged hacking of Sony, Nevins noted that “it’s a bit of a scary time to be a maker of controversial, political truth. It’s been a bad month for free speech around the world.” Yet Nevins said during the press conference that he didn’t want there “to be any limitations” nor did he “expect there will be” from “shying away from anything difficult,” as quoted by Entertainment Weekly.
Despite being one of the highest rated shows on television, the show has faced plenty of criticism from left-wing media. “Homeland” has been called “TV’s most Islamophobic show” and “the most bigoted show on television” by Salon and the Washington Post, respectively (which almost makes a Showtime subscription seem worthwhile). Could its creators’ decision have anything to do with the recent international threat on another media outlet who presented Muslims in a less than flattering light?
Fox News’ Neil Cavuto certainly thinks that the show’s creators were intimidated by the Paris terror attack. He claimed the “edgy network” was “pulling itself back” from offending Muslims on his Jan. 13 Cavuto program which airs on Fox Business.
Sean Hannity further blasted the decision on his radio program Jan. 13, , saying “Sounds like they are capitulating to terrorists. Why would you do that? Because you’re afraid,” the Fox News host asserted.