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Why Pakistani Officials Are Furious At Homeland

While many TV viewers thought that Season 3 of Showtime’s Homeland was the series’ worst, the creative revival of Season 4 has drawn some major ire from a wholly different group: Pakistani officials. The foreign diplomats have apparently had major issues with the way Homeland depicted not only Pakistan’s citizens and culture, but even the setting itself.

Homeland’s fourth season sees central CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) doing field work in Pakistan, where a predictable amount of bad blood is created between that nation and the U.S. (No reason to go into big spoilers here.) And it isn’t one specific thing that Pakistan higher-ups have issues with, according to the New York Post, but just about everything. Here is one of the ways the Post’s source lambastes the political drama.

Islamabad is a quiet, picturesque city with beautiful mountains and lush greenery. In Homeland, it’s portrayed as a grimy hellhole and war zone where shootouts and bombs go off with dead bodies scattered around. Nothing is further from the truth.”

It’s definitely true that if one were to gauge Pakistan based solely on Homeland, it wouldn’t be a very encouraging outlook. (The show was actually filmed in South Africa, far away from Pakistan.) But that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. The unnamed source also says the series completely bungles the Urdu language, calling out the improper accents and erroneous connotations. You can get a better idea of it all from the trailer below.

But it’s what you can’t get from that promo that has Pakistanis pissed off the most. Many are angry with the show’s storyline and how it depicts the nation as one of America-hating terrorists, and this kind of blatant misinformation is reportedly a “disservice” to U.S. citizens and security officers who aim to keep friendly ties with Pakistan. Here’s how that complaint was worded.

Repeated insinuations that an intelligence agency of Pakistan is complicit in protecting the terrorists at the expense of innocent Pakistani civilians is not only absurd but also an insult to the ultimate sacrifices of the thousands of Pakistani security personnel in the war against terrorism. Our culture embraces Western society. Pakistan believes in the democratic system of voting in our presidents…Homeland makes it seem that Pakistan has contempt for Americans and its values and principles. That is just not true.”

And here I was, only considering the fact that Homeland got exciting again, not really thinking about how that excitement made an entire nation of people look like enemies. Not that I take anything on TV for granted these days.

Homeland was renewed for Season 5 earlier this year, and we can presumably expect to find it premiering next fall. Maybe the producers would like to head to an area where inhabitants won’t get so peeved about how they’re portrayed, like Care-a-Lot.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.