Saturday, October 11, 2014

ARCHER Drops ISIS Name for Rather Obvious Reasons

Yuuuup, phrasing.

The Daily Beast has word that in light of recent world events involving the militant Islamic organization once called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the FX animated spy comedy series Archer is dropping the spy organization name ISIS (short for International Secret Intelligence Service) from the show starting with the upcoming Season 6. 

During the season premiere, Malory Archer (Jessica Walter) is shown talking on the phone with her son Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and explaining to him that the CIA are now their overlords.  In the background, you can see two movers rolling out a large, circular sign featuring the ISIS logo.

Creator Adam Reed along with executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis made the decision after initial concerns from FX.  "We were waiting for it to go away — at least I was," said Reed.  "Back in Season 5, FX said, ‘This might be a thing,’ and I thought, ‘Maybe it won’t be?  Maybe it’ll be the mole that I’m gonna ignore and nothing will happen.’  We got sort of lucky and could organically make a merger with the CIA, so we went back and retroactively painted out the ISIS logos in parts of the show, and we just don’t talk about it in dialogue."

"We won’t say ISIS anymore, and the only visual representation of it will be that sign rolling off the show," added Thompson.  "It’s just the most awful thing, and we didn’t want to have anything to do with it.  There were people online saying that we should address it and say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe these guys have co-opted our name.’  That’s the way South Park would do it, coming after them and saying, ‘These assholes stole our name,’ but that’s not the way the Archer universe works, where it’s all our own creations.  In our universe, they don’t exist."

The name and logo won't be retroactively removed from Seasons 1 through 5, however, so any repeats on television will still feature ISIS.  In addition, there's still the matter of all that ISIS-related merchandise to address.  "I’m one of the few people that has the white ISIS cup and it’s mixed in with all my other cups," said Walter.  "The other day, I was looking at it and thought, ‘Should I throw it out?  But it reminds me of Archer.’"

Added Reed, "I gave my Dad one of the ISIS hats and he said, ‘You know son, I’m not going to be able to wear the hat anymore.  I’m gettin’ looks at the hardware store.’  I was at a meeting with the FX execs and I said, ‘You know, with all this extra ISIS merchandise, you should just make the bad guys buy it.’  Dead silence.  And then they said, ‘We have a lot of ISIS merchandise.’  So I guess that’s all going to a landfill somewhere."

Archer is expected to return to FX for Season 6 sometime around January 2015.

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