Egyptian street artists who were hired to paint sets on Showtime's Homelanddecided to use the opportunity to make political statements, inserting messages like "Homeland is racist" and "#BlackLivesMatter" onto the walls of a fake refugee camp, theWashington Post reports.
The messages - which were spray-painted in Arabic on the set - went unnoticed by the show's production crew, but can be seen prominently in the episode that aired last Sunday.
The artists - Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and a third known as Stone - told the Post that they were hired in June to spray-paint the sets with messages in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in order to make them more authentic. But, as Amin told the Post, they quickly thought, "What if we could use this as an opportunity to be subversive, to make a point with it?"
One of their points: that Homeland offers an "inaccurate, undifferentiated and highly biased depiction of Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghans," according to a statement released Wednesday.
The slogans they snuck on to the set include "Homeland is racist," "Homeland is NOT a series," "#BlackLivesMatter" and "This show does not represent the views of the artists." Images of the messages can be viewed here.
"We discovered that no one was paying attention or even asking what we were writing," Amin told the Post. "We realized we could write whatever we wanted."
The artists say they're not surprised that the graffiti made it into the final air version. "In a sense, this is why we had the idea to begin with," Amin told the Post."We knew there wasn't much research and energy into accurately depicting [the region]."
Homeland co-creator Alex Gansa tipped his hat to the artists in a statement on Thursday. "We wish we'd caught these images before they made it to air," he told Entertainment Weekly. "However, as Homeland always strives to be subversive in its own right and a stimulus for conversation, we can't help but admire this act of artistic sabotage."