Inconveniently named spy organization in ‘Archer’ TV series gets a name change. Seems like the writers of the show don’t like the idea of being linked to a radical terrorist group.
It seems, on the surface, like a throwaway shot. During the premiere episode of the sixth season of Archer, FX’s outrageously funny animated spy series, spy matriarch Malory Archer (Jessica Walter) is seen speaking on the phone with her juvenile, coddled son. In the background, you can see two movers rolling out a large, circular blue ISIS sign.
You see, for the past five seasons, ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service) has been the name for the underground, non-government approved, New York City-based spy organization at the heart of the show. In light of recent events, however, the creative team behind the Emmy nominated series—creator Adam Reed along with executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis—made a decision to quietly eliminate the acronym from their show.
“We quietly did,” Reed told The Daily Beast. “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.”
A different version of the premiere episode aired in July at San Diego Comic-Con, but the Archer creative team went back and added the scene of the movers rolling out the sign, and re-recorded dialogue of Malory explaining to her agent-son, Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), that the CIA are now their overlords.
“We won’t say ISIS anymore, and the only visual representation of it will be that sign rolling off the show,” said exec producer 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.”