WARNING! Spoilers below for “Homeland” Season 6!
Fans of “Homeland” were hit particularly hard with the Season 6 finale death of Peter Quinn, a hardened yet beloved Carrie Mathison ally in the oft-rough-and-tumble world of international espionage portrayed on the Showtime hit.
But some felt the TV character’s demise was unjustified. A group calling itself #NotOurHomeland has taken out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter’s Aug. 23 issue addressed to “the creators of ‘Homeland’” to air their grievances. The group claims to have raised $4,000 for charity to support the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a nonprofit that supports wounded military personnel.
“In the midst of a mass exodus of your most loyal and devoted viewers, we have asked repeatedly for you to address your audience and the unceremonious end to a character that you openly acknowledge was beloved by millions,” the letter reads. “You have been silent. We are asking again.”
In a shocking twist, the former CIA operative Quinn (Rupert Friend) redeemed himself for a season’s worth of tragic mistakes through self-sacrifice, driving an SUV through a stream of bullets to save President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) and Carrie (Claire Danes). His departure from the show comes after a near-deadly exposure to poisonous sarin gas in Season 5 left him disabled and disrupted his speech.
In the letter, #NotOurHomeland expresses dissatisfaction that the show has “relentlessly and brutally tortured” veterans like Quinn, although Quinn is never specified as a military veteran, and accused insiders of not publicly confirming the character’s death, although it has been. The group also objects to the show’s portrayal of “child sexual abuse,” an apparent reference to suggested abuse of Quinn by his mentor Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham). They’re also upset over Carrie’s story arc ― but that, at least, has been much discussed by TV critics who argue similarly that the character has become monotonous.
Showrunner Alex Gansa provided a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, responding to the complaints over Quinn’s death.
“It is painful to hear that that even a small segment of our devoted audience is disappointed in ‘Homeland,’” Gansa said. “Suffice to say that I mourn the loss of Peter Quinn as much as anybody and that the character was created not to denigrate but to honor the men and women who devote their lives to keeping America safe. In my eyes, he died a hero.”
Read the group’s letter in full below:
We are a group of passionate Homeland fans representing thousands of aggrieved viewers and fans who have banded together in protest to found #NotOurHomeland. We object to your treatment of veterans, those who suffer from PTSD, and survivors of stroke or sexual abuse. We object to the humiliation of a strong, dynamic, complicated heroine ― the Carrie Mathison we once knew.
We have raised $4000 in support of a prominent veterans charity because you refused to honor Peter Quinn, and we invite you to match our final contribution. We crowdfunded this advertisement because we demand to be heard.
It has been over four months since your sixth season concluded. In the midst of a mass exodus of your most loyal and devoted viewers, we have asked repeatedly for you to address your audience and the unceremonious end to a character that you openly acknowledge was beloved by millions. You have been silent. We are asking again.
1. Why have you relentlessly and brutally tortured the veterans you depict on this show? And why did you ultimately render Peter Quinn incapable of both loving and being loved? Are you comfortable with the message this sends to sexual abuse survivors, returning veterans, and people with disabilities?
2. Why did you insert references to child sexual abuse and then refuse to confirm them? By claiming ambiguity you are side-stepping your duty to responsibly tell a narrative involving child sexual abuse.
3. Why have you not publicly confirmed Peter Quinn’s death? Why was Rupert Friend’s departure from the show so publicly different from Damian Lewis’s in 2013? Why have you let Lesli Linka Glatter field all media response to your offensive storytelling?
4. Why have you reduced Carrie Mathison to a shell of herself? In six seasons you’ve employed a total of four female writers on your staff, and the result of this decision is clear. Carrie Mathison is no longer recognizable. Once a complicated, difficult heroine who drove the story, she has been rendered two-dimensional and reactionary. You claim she is more than her gender but you have placed her into a box and continue to resort to the same old tropes of a single woman who is perpetually defunct romantically, sexually, professionally, and emotionally.
Homeland has lost sight of the fact that it is a television show, albeit a “prestigious” one. It has sacrificed cohesive storytelling, character development, and entertainment value for the sake of “prescience.” We hope that Homeland will return to providing entertaining narratives for the characters that we love to watch.
“Homeland” will return for Season 7 on Showtime in 2018.