Back to bombs in Beirut? Will Lebanon reconsider suing US TV for bleak depiction of war-torn capital?

Published October 19th, 2012 - 03:48 GMT
Starbucks cafe, Sassine Square, Achrafieh Beirut
Starbucks cafe, Sassine Square, Achrafieh Beirut

In light of today's Sassine Square east Beirut bomb blast, perhaps the Lebanese tourism minister would like to reconsider his threat to sue US TV makers of 'Homeland' for their disparaging depiction of a barbaric Beirut, wherein friendly Hamra is ruled by war mobs and Hezbollah (ed).

Lebanon's government wants to sue Fox 21's TV hit 'Homeland' that portrayed Beirut as an Islamist-ridden city where militants roam about searching for the next foreigner to kidnap, Executive Magazine reported Wednesday.

“This kind of film damages the image of Lebanon...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 producer,” Tourism Minister Fady Abboud told Executive

Abboud said he would look into different avenues the government could take to pursue the lawsuit, or take legal action in a personal capacity.

'Homeland' is an award-winning series about a CIA operations officer named Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes, who is investigating an ex-Marine she believes works for Al-Qaeda. The show is based on the Israeli series Hatufim (Prisoners of War), and its episode about Beirut was filmed in Haifa.

'Beirut is back', shows a hijab-clad Danes seeking to kill a senior Hezbollah member allied with Al-Qaeda, as she drifts through a sea of rusty Mercedes cars and masked gun men.

Lebanon's Tourism Ministry has been reorienting promotional campaigns towards Westerners. The country's usual tourists, Gulf Arabs, have sought to spend much of the high tourist summer season at home because it has coincided with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. A deluge of mainstream press praising Lebanese tourism, from CNN to the New York Times, has greatly propped up those efforts.


Have your say! Do you think the Lebanese government should go ahead and take action to sue the makers of Homeland for false depictions of the capital Beirut? Should today's fatal Sassine blast have any bearing on the sore Lebanese pride given that we see Beirut once again riddled with war-torn buildings and skeletal cars?

© Al-Akhbar. All rights reserved

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