MPAC Hollywood Bureau Consulting on New FX Series "Tyrant"

May 31, 2014

The Muslim Public Affairs Council announced today that its Hollywood Bureau is serving as a consultant on the new FX cable network series, Tyrant,” produced and co-created by Howard Gordon (“24” and “Homeland).

Set in a fictional war-torn country in the Middle East, the show centers around the character of Bassam “Barry” Al Fayeed, who has been living in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years since his self-selected exile. The younger son of a dictator, Barry returns with his American family to his homeland for his nephew's wedding. His arrival leads to a dramatic clash, as he reluctantly returns to the familial and national politics he once left.

SEE: “Why FX's Middle Eastern Drama 'Tyrant' Promises to Be One of the Year's Most Hot-Button Series” (Indiewire)

In its capacity as a religious and cultural adviser, MPAC is working with the makers of “Tyrant” to minimize stereotypes and enhance the accuracy and authentic representation of Islam and Muslims.

MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati said today:

“The makers of ‘Tyrant’ began working with MPAC’s Hollywood Bureau early on in the project because they value the perspective we provide and because they want to avoid reflecting Islam or the region as a monolith. The fact that they have been so receptive to our notes from the beginning is a very positive sign. On a personal note, I also want to add that Howard Gordon cares about truth and accuracy, and he cares about the need for American Muslims to play a greater role in conversations in Hollywood.

For those reasons, I am confident that Howard and his crew will tell a story through ‘Tyrant’ that will help all of us Americans understand the suffering of the Muslim peoples under dictatorships and the collective responsibility of the world for this suffering. Having a show about a Middle Eastern tyrant cannot be summarily equated with Islamophobia. That is an injustice to those who have suffered from stereotyping and those who have been oppressed under tyranny.”

In media interviews, producer Howard Gordon has stressed the team’s intention of introducing greater complexity and nuance than his past dramas, including “24” and “Homeland.”

“One of the things we want to do is not be reductive but also honor the complexities of and the folly of American policy," Gordon said, "and the law of unintended consequences makes for very good drama."

MPAC's Hollywood Bureau serves as a professional resource to the entertainment industry by providing reliable and accurate information on Islam, Muslims and interfaith relations to the Hollywood community, without offering any endorsement of all content. The bureau also helps Hollywood professionals connect with creative talent, including Muslim filmmakers, writers and actors.



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