'Homeland' May Be Lebanon's Target for Lawsuit
Though it's been a runaway hit in the U.S., Lebanese officials aren't happy with "Homeland." 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." (Earlier today, a bomb explosion in central Beirut killed at least eight people and injured many others. There was no immediate indication of who was responsible for the blast.)
Another issue, for Lebanese critics, is that some of "Homeland's" urban scenes are shot in Tel Aviv, Israel, which has had long simmering tensions with Lebanon. 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." "Homeland" is a takeoff on the Israeli series "Prisoners of War" and Gideon Raff, "Homeland's" co-creator, is Israeli.
A representative for Showtime declined to comment. A representative for "Homeland's" executive producers, Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, did not respond to ABCNews.com's requests for comment.