Jordanians angry at film shoot depicting Tel Aviv in Amman

Netflix said it is shooting a new ‘globe-spanning’ series in the Jordanian capital.

November 19, 2018 20:13
2 minute read.
Children play football at the Roman Amphitheatre area in downtown Amman, Jordan April 1, 2018.

Children play football at the Roman Amphitheatre area in downtown Amman, Jordan April 1, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/MUHAMMAD HAMED)


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Many Jordanians on social media were angry to discover that parts of Amman have been taken over for a Netflix film shoot – and made to look like Tel Aviv.

Over the weekend, several Twitter users shared photos from Amman featuring cars with Israeli license plates and street signs in Hebrew. Several reports indicated that women wearing IDF uniforms were also spotted on the film set. Many social media users expressed anger at the sight of Israeli insignia in Amman – several decrying the “normalization” of Israel.

Some activists even turned out in person to protest the film shoot.

A spokesman for Netflix said it was “aware of the protests around our filming locations, which have been very contained and peaceful.”
In August, the media company began shooting its first ever original series in Jordan, a supernatural soap opera titled Jinn. The Netflix spokesman said the current filming is unrelated to Jinn, and is a new, unnamed series.

“We are filming in Jordan for an upcoming globe-spanning series, with Jordan representing several different locations,” the spokesman said. “We have worked for months in partnership with the Royal Film Commission in Jordan to make the filming a success... The series will employ more than 200 Jordanians while it films.”

Several Jordanian media accounts said the new series is titled The Old Story, although Netflix declined to provide any other details about the show. It also would not say what other locations were being represented in Jordan.

According to a report on the Jordanian news site Al Bawaba, the Jordanian Royal Film Commission said the filming “was a Netflix-produced series that was using Amman as a backdrop for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.” According to Al Bawaba, the commission “confirmed approving a request to shoot a series in Amman where it is assumed to be in Israel’s Tel Aviv without interfering in the content of any film or series being produced in Jordan.”

Al Bawaba said the film shoot is being conducted by Netflix in cooperation with Desert Motion Picture, a Jordanian production company which had not responded to a request for comment by press time.

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