This video describes how graffiti artists snuck subversive messages onto a 2015 episode of Homeland, an American political and espionage television show about a CIA agent. The artists were asked by producers to add Arabic graffiti to the walls of a fictional Syrian refugee camp and they decided to take the opportunity to make a statement about the show’s repeated stereotyping and negative, limited portrayals of Muslims, Arabs, and the Middle East. The clip describes what happened and also shows one of the artists explaining why he finds Homeland problematic. He says, “It’s a complete inaccurate description of the Middle East and the Far East and the wider region. It shows every Muslim or every Arab who appears in the series as a terrorist, basically…In a case like Homeland, when it’s really degrading people and cultures…we should try and look a little bit beyond entertainment and also see the political messages that are transported on TV.” The graffitied messages (in Arabic) included, “Homeland is Racist,” “There is no Homeland,” and “#BlackLivesMatter.”
Published in early December 2015, this AJ+ video features a compilation of American Muslims talking about how they feel being a Muslim in America in the contemporary Islamaphobic social and political context. They describe feelings such as feeling unapologetic, oppressed, overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, uncomfortable, tired, depressed, tense, sad, frightened, hurt, and worried with regards to what one describes as the escalating Islamaphobic, anti-Muslim, racist rhetoric that dominates U.S. public discourse from sources including presidential candidates, other prominent public figures, and the news.
This video uses contrasting shots to show what it would look like if men were asked to play the same kinds of hypersexualized and objectifying roles women are asked to portray in advertisements. For each commercial featured in this video, men are placed in the same positions and roles as the women in the original commercials, and the images are framed side-by-side or back-to-back for comparison. For example, one of the commercials is fast food chain Hardees and Carl’s Jrs.’s charbroiled Atlantic cod fish sandwich ad, which features an attractive female model eating the sandwich in a string bikini on a tropical beach. She poses suggestively as she eats the sandwich, and there are several close-up shots of various parts of her body, including scenes of her spraying herself down with tanning oil in the heat. Each suggestive pose and action is mimicked in a side-by-side comparison with a similarly dressed man posing, eating, and spraying himself down in the same ways, with the same beach background. The video is meant to point out the discomfort, humor, or ridiculousness we see in portraying men in this kind of hypersexualized and objectifying way, and prompts viewers to consider why it is “normal” and acceptable that women are so frequently represented this way in ads and media. With the tagline “more than a piece of meat,” this video was published in 2014 and created by BuzzFeed, a media, news, entertainment, and reporting website that crafts content that can be easily shared and spread through social media.