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‘Homeland’ Creator Responds to Critical Letter From Fans


Rupert Friend in Season 5 of “Homeland.”

Stephan Rabold/Showtime

Some fans of Showtime’s “Homeland” remain so upset about a major character’s death, more than four months ago, that they took out a full-page ad this week in The Hollywood Reporter to express their lingering anger. Now one of the creators of the show, Alex Gansa, has responded to those grieving fans.

The open letter, which was published on Aug. 23, outlined grievances over the treatment of Peter Quinn, a former soldier and a C.I.A. operative specializing in surveillance played by Rupert Friend, who was — spoiler alert — killed off in the Season 6 finale in April. While episode recaps and social media have made it easier than ever for fans to obsess over favorite shows, such real-world activism remains relatively rare.

“Why have you relentlessly and brutally tortured the veterans you depict on the show?” the fans wrote. “And why did you ultimately render Peter Quinn incapable of both loving and being loved?”

“Homeland” centers on the former C.I.A. operative Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes, and her battle to fight terrorism around the world. The show has routinely killed off main characters, but Quinn’s plight particularly inflamed some viewers. Quinn debuted in the second season and was an oft-tormented fan favorite over five seasons until he sacrificed himself to save Carrie and President-elect Elizabeth Keane (played by Elizabeth Marvel) by driving an S.U.V. through, essentially, an assassination squad.

In the letter, fans wrote that Quinn’s treatment was indicative of larger issues with the writing behind “Homeland.” They also objected to the character progression of Ms. Danes’s role, as well as how the show treats PTSD and sexual assault, and introduced a hashtag called #NotOurHomeland.

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