Their Muslim Dilemma: Showrunners for 'Quantico,' 'Homeland' Discuss Task of Fairly Portraying Muslims in Post Election Climate | NECN

Their Muslim Dilemma: Showrunners for 'Quantico,' 'Homeland' Discuss Task of Fairly Portraying Muslims in Post Election Climate

Showrunners from some of the most popular shows on television, including 'Quantico' and 'Homeland,' said the negative hysteria surrounding the Muslim community has made storytelling more difficult.

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    Priyanka Chora of 'Quantico' and Claire Danes of 'Homeland' star on popular shows that often depict terrorist attacks against the United States.

    Turns out President-elect Donald Trump isn't the only person with a Muslim dilemma.

    Showrunners from some of the most popular shows on television, including ABC's "Quantico," and Showtime's "Homeland," said the negative hysteria surrounding the Muslim population following the presidential election has made their storytelling more difficult, as they attempt to weave intricate plots while steering clear of fueling anti-Muslim hysteria.

    The plot lines of both shows often center around attempted terrorists attacks against the United States.

    Approximately two weeks after Election Day, The New York Times gathered a select group of showrunners together to discuss Muslim representation on television. The roundtable included Howard Gordon, creator of both “24” and “Homeland,” and Joshua Safran creator of "Quantico," an ABC series about F.B.I. operatives.

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    For his part, Safran vowed he'd never depict a Muslim as a terrorist on the show. 

    "For me, it was important to not ever put a Muslim terrorist on our show," Safran said. "There hasn’t been one. This year we have the appearance of one — which is a spoiler. But it’s not true."

    Gordon, also created "24," a show that often depicted Muslims as terrorists. When asked if he had any concerns about the storylines on "Homeland" being used as fodder to fuel anti-Muslim sentiment, Gordon responded, "The short answer is, absolutely, yes. On "Homeland," it’s an ongoing and very important conversation."

    The roundtable discussed the necessity of bringing in diverse voices to the process. "If you bring in writers with different experiences, you get different stories, " said Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the Canadian series “Little Mosque on the Prairie.”

    "I have great hope for the future," Nawaz told the Times. "I pitched a show to one of the networks about a Muslim family, and I was told by the executive, 'There is no way an American network is going to have a Muslim woman with a hijab on television. Get her out. We will not do it.' And then I watch 'Quantico' [which has a main character in a hijab]. I’m like, 'Oh my god. I’ve been vindicated.'"