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ABC Studios, actress Priyanka Chopra, and the executive producers of the fictional FBI drama “Quantico” have apologized for a recent episode that portrayed Indians as terrorists looking to attack Manhattan and blame Pakistan.
In the episode “The Blood of Romeo,” which aired on June 1, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Chopra’s character FBI agent Alex Parrish discovers the terror plot and stops it.
The terrorists plan to carry out the attack ahead of a summit between India and Pakistan and Chopra’s character eventually discovers a Hindu symbol on a suspect, leading her to believe the attack was thought up by the Indians to frame Pakistan, The Hollywood Reporter explained.
After the episode, Chopra faced online attacks and calls to boycott her work and the brands that she endorses, including South Korean giant Samsung Electronics Co., Reuters reported.
“The myth of Hindu terror, by a fake story, enters American television with the help of Priyanka Chopra. Would any Pakistani actress betray Pakistan or Islam the way she betrays India and Hinduism?” David Frowley, an American Hindu teacher and author, tweeted.
Others called on the government to black out the scene where Chopra holds up sacred Hindu prayer beads as evidence that the plotter in the episode was an Indian nationalist.
On Saturday, Chopra, who is Indian, apologized to those who expressed outrage over the episode.
“I’m extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico. That was not and would never be my intention,” she wrote. “I sincerely apologise. I’m a proud Indian and that will never change.”
ABC Studios and the executive producers of “Quantico” also issued an apology following the backlash to the episode and defended Chopra.
“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,” the statement read. “She has no involvement in the casting of the show or the storylines depicted in the series.”
The statement also emphasized that “‘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.”
“Quantico” is in its third and final season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show was canceled last month by ABC.