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Why was ABC Studios forced to apologise for latest episode of Priyanka Chopra's Quantico?


The studio, while apologising for stepping into a 'a complex political issue', has cleared that actress Priyanka Chopra should not be held responsible for the content of the series.

Our Correspondent

ABC Studios has apologised to all those offended by the latest episode of Quantico. Titled The Blood Of Romeo, the episode attracted controversy in India for portraying an Indian national with a rudraksh as a terrorist.

Following this, actress Priyanka Chopra has been facing criticism, mostly online. In their apology note sent to Access online, ABC Studios has specifically cleared that Chopra has no say in the content of the series.

“ABC Studios and the executive producers of Quantico would like to extend an apology to our audience who were offended by the most recent episode, The Blood of Romeo. The episode has stirred a lot of emotion, much of which is unfairly aimed at Priyanka Chopra, who didn’t create the show, nor does she write or direct it. She has no involvement in the casting of the show or the storylines depicted in the series,” said the press note.

Over the years, the series has portrayed villains from various nationalities. Stressing on this fact, the channel admitted they stepped into 'a complex political issue'.

“Quantico is a work of fiction. The show has featured antagonists of many different ethnicities and backgrounds, but in this case we inadvertently and regrettably stepped into a complex political issue. It was certainly not our intention to offend anyone,” the statement read.

In the episode, India and Pakistan are about to have meeting in New York over the Kashmir issue. A few days before the meet, a professor, of Pakistani origin, at the Hudson University steals Uranium 235 from the institute premises. This clearly indicates the possibility of a nuclear attack in Manhattan. It is assumed that the Pakistani government wants to foil the meeting.

But Priyanka Chopra's character Alex Parrish discovers that the culprits are in fact Indian nationals as she spots a rudraksh chain on one of them, that also indicates he is a Hindus.

It is later revealed that the man wanted to put the blame of the attack on Pakistan to ensure that US sides with India on the sensitive issue. The Indian national apparently took to the drastic measure as he was not happy with the efforts of his government in teaching Pakistan a lesson.

This twist was enough to incense a few Indians, as the issue of Kashmir has been a sore point between India and Pakistan, who have fought four wars against each other.

Since the past few years, India has seen an increased intolerance to opposing ideologies, giving rise to notorious activities, both online and offline. Criticism of those who speak up against oppression against the minority has become a regular feature. For example, actor Aamir Khan was trolled when he expressed concerns on the growing intolerance against the minority in the country.

Recently, actress Deepika Padukone was openly threatened by members of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party for acting in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat (2018). Even though the filmmaker repeatedly cleared that the film was based on fiction, the detractors claimed it tarnished the image of queen Padmavati.

Although Chopra is not involved in the writing or direction of Quantico, she has been the target of detractors, mainly for two reasons. First, the lead characters of a film or a series are held responsible for its content. Second, it is believed that Chopra represents India in Hollywood. Therefore, a negative portrayal of the home-country in the series does not bode well for its image.