It's no secret that the current state of Muslim representation on TV is troubling, particularly as a post-9/11 culture oversaw the rise of the trope of the Muslim terrorist and as Donald Trump's proposed Muslim ban stokes Islamophobia. Quantico, however, won't be a site for such stereotypes, according to showrunner Josh Safran. Participating in a roundtable discussion for the New York Times, Safran revealed that one of the major rules for Quantico is that it never feature a Muslin terrorist, an edict to which it has so far held fast. He explained, "For me, it was important to not ever put a Muslim terrorist on our show. There hasn’t been one." He added that the show's current season came close, but only for the sake of misdirection. "This year we have the appearance of one — which is a spoiler. But it’s not true," he said. The guideline is just one of the ways Quantico is responding to the present political climate, according to Safran, who intends to significantly change the tone of the show. He revealed, "I called the network and I said, 'Can we change the show?' They said yes. We’re changing the show so that it can represent, in a dark time, more hope." Yes, in the darkest of times, there is always TV.Hey, I get where he's coming from. In the darkest days of the Great Depression, Hollywood provided much-needed escapism in the form of preternaturally perky Shirley Temple displaying her dimples and curls as she tap danced her little heart out. In these darkest of times, why harp on the most insidious and most terrifying threat of our era, especially when doing so could provoke the
As for the show's "hope" trope--as poet Emily Dickinson remarked, "Hope is the thing with feathers." And dare one say that in Quantico's case, it's a turkey, a ridiculous-looking bird with wings far too puny to make its ungainly body soar?
That said, what's the point of producing something that's supposed to be a true-to-life thriller when its creator is steadfastly committed to overlooking the elephant--or is it a camel?--in the room and on the set?