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The Islamic State Claims an Unexpected Victim: A Cartoon Spy Agency

"That’s the way 'South Park' would do it, coming after them and saying, ‘These a******s stole our name,’ but that’s not the way the 'Archer' universe works..."

Image via YouTube

The characters on the FX adult cartoon "Archer" are about as different from the Islamic State as folks could be: hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, promiscuous and well-equipped with high-tech gadgetry.

But the two groups had an acronym in common, until very recently at least.

Image via YouTube Image via YouTube

As the Daily Beast reported late Friday, the spy agency at the center of "Archer" used to be called ISIS, but as the show gears up for its sixth season, creator Adam Reed and executive producer Matt Thompson explained that the agency would be taken over by the CIA and the ISIS acronym would be dropped.

“We quietly did,” Reed said. “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.”

Image via YouTube Image via YouTube

Many news organizations, including TheBlaze, officially refer to the jihadist group as the Islamic State, but it is still commonly referred to by the acronyms ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

“We won’t say ISIS anymore, and the only visual representation of it will be that sign rolling off the show,” Thompson told the Daily Beast. “It’s just the most awful thing, and we didn’t want to have anything to do with it."

Thompson added that they decided not to directly address the name confusion on the show because the Islamic State doesn't exist in the show's world.

"There were people online saying that we should address it and say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe these guys have co-opted our name,’" Thompson said. "That’s the way 'South Park' would do it, coming after them and saying, ‘These a******s 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.”

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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