Jewish Journal

Howard Gordon of Homeland: What’s the deal omitting Israel?

by Orit Arfa

January 16, 2012 | 4:37 pm

As the Jewish Journal’s Danielle Berrin so aptly pointed out in her Hollywood Jew blog on the Golden Globe’s top Jewish moments, Howard Gordon, co-creator of Homeland, did not mention Israel in his acceptance speech.

Mr. Gordon, I’m so disappointed, especially after my glowing review of your show in my last blog.

You mentioned many of your collaborators—but what about the most important one?—Gideon Raff—who created “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War”), the Israeli television drama that inspired “Homeland.” This omission is disturbing on several levels. First of all, it is disrespectful of the creative process not to credit the innovator of the seed show and, might I add, an executive producer. Second, this would have been a perfect opportunity to showcase Israel’s contributions to Hollywood. It’s not your job to be an Israel spokesperson—your job is to make good TV—but come on? It wouldn’t have hurt.

Were you afraid of mentioning the “bad word” “Israel” to a crowd likely consisting mostly of Hollywood liberals who erroneously view Israel as an oppressive “Occupier”? Were you afraid of making it glaringly public that this show wasn’t your original idea? Or did you just forget, the way Claire Danes forgot to mention her mother when she won the Golden Globe in 1995 for her work on “My So Called Life.”

I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt. It would be nice if you could explain yourself at your talk at UCLA’s One Day University on Israel.

I hope that next year, when the show will likely win again, you’ll be as courageous as your characters and also your “Best Actress,” Claire Danes, who this year corrected her 1995 mistake by bringing her mother as her date, and who also acknowledged Raff in her acceptance speech. I’d like to see Mr. Raff at your table next year.

PS. I still lay in wait for next season. And I look forward to Danielle Berrin’s upcoming series on the deepening ties between Israel and Hollywood in which Gordon will figure in prominently.

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