In a Shihad/Pacifier move, animated spy series Archer‘s International Secret Intelligence Service (or ‘ISIS’) has dropped its name to clear any association with the terrorist group currently known for its war crimes.
Creator Adam Reed explained their reasoning behind the name swap:
“We quietly [changed it]. We were waiting for it to go away—at least I was. 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.”
As with the Shihad fiasco, people are undoubtedly going to say that the name change is “just the tip” of a small victory for the terror group. But executive producer Matt Thompson said that keeping the name and dealing with the situation via reference, a la South Park, just isn’t how Archer rolls.
“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,”
As for anyone who owns Archer‘s current ISIS merchandise in circulation, I just wouldn’t wear that t-shirt to the airport.