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FX Show 'Archer' To Drop ISIS Name

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FX Show 'Archer' To Drop ISIS Name

Television

FX Show 'Archer' To Drop ISIS Name

FX Show 'Archer' To Drop ISIS Name

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The rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has made it difficult for organizations and companies to carry the burden of a moniker now associated with the Islamist militant group.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now this - we have an update on the drive to eliminate ISIS.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We do not mean eliminating ISIS from Iraq and Syria, much as many people would like to do that. For now, we just mean eliminating ISIS from corporate brands and pop culture.

MARTIN: Some companies have had to drop the acronym ISIS. Now a fictional spy agency has had to do the same. The FX animated series "Archer" has decided it's time to pull the title from the spy organization at the heart of the show.

INSKEEP: International Secret Intelligence Service will no longer be known as ISIS.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ARCHER")

H. JON BENJAMIN: (As Sterling Archer) So, yeah, I'm an ISIS agent, and that Ramon guy's a Cuban agent.

THOMAS LENNON: (As Charles) So this spy agency, is it like the real CIA James Bondy deal or what?

BENJAMIN: (As Sterling Archer) Charles, ISIS employs some of the world's foremost intelligence analysts, covert operatives and scientists.

INSKEEP: Well, of course. Don't you know that? Now, "Archer's" ISIS does not employ radical terrorists, instead, often fighting them. So to avoid confusion, it was time for a change. The show's producers say the only reference to the name will be in the upcoming sixth season premiere in January.

MARTIN: The first episode will open with Malory Archer - she's the spy agency's matriarch - explaining that ISIS has been taken over by the CIA. Behind her, an ISIS logo will be taken off the wall and rolled out the door.

INSKEEP: Now, that plot point was actually set up at the end of season five, at a time when network executives were already raising concerns about the name ISIS. In this scene, Malory negotiates a shady deal with the CIA to revive ISIS as a private firm handling CIA business.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ARCHER")

JESSICA WALTER: (As Malory Archer) They might even make you director.

GARY COLE: (As Agent Hawley) Or at least deputy ops.

WALTER: (As Malory Archer) Which, and I'm just spit-balling here, would mean you could outsource a good deal of business to a private firm - like ISIS.

COLE: (As Agent Hawley) So you lose us $50 million, and you want to get on the CIA payroll?

WALTER: (As Malory Archer): Right after you renovate my offices.

COLE: (As Agent Hawley, laughter).

MARTIN: There's another problem to deal with here, all the ISIS-branded merchandise for the show - all those hats and mugs. "Archer's" creator Adam Reed told The Daily Beast that his father won't wear his hat anymore because he was, quote, "getting looks at the hardware store." FX has removed the merchandise from their online store.

INSKEEP: There's much more ahead this morning on your public radio station. Be sure to tune in later today to All Things Considered and check us out on social media. There's the MORNING EDITION Facebook page. We're also on Twitter @MorningEdition, @NPRinskeep and @rachelnpr, but not at ISIS. You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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