Even though it’s a fictional show, Indian fans of “Quantico” are mad at the ABC show – for portraying India in a bad light in a recent episode – and its lead actor, Priyanka Chopra, for allowing that to happen.
The episode, which aired June 1, showed ‘Indian nationalists’ – one of them wears a ‘rudraksh’ on a chain – plotting to carry out a nuclear attack in Manhattan, and frame Pakistan for it. Chopra’s character, Alex Parish, thwarts the plot, which was meant to disrupt a summit on Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
Fans took to Twitter to show their displeasure. Here are the some of the reactions:
“What the hell was this episode of #Quantico... they tried to show ‘Indian nationalists’ (their term) trying to blow up Manhattan to frame Pakistan…I don’t even know what sort of ridiculous narrative was this episode trying to set…nonsensical stuff,” one user commented.
An Indian American user wrote: “I work in Manhattan. Thousands of Indians work in Manhattan. Plotting a bomb blast in Manhattan is as good as plotting it in New Delhi.#Quantico writers mom dropped him/her on head or Pro-Pakistan/Islamic radical views have entered Hollywood. And @priyankachopra how cud you?”
One Twitter user said it was hard to believe that “Quantico” makers decided to bring up the Kashmir issue and the relationship between India and Pakistan in such a juvenile way.
“Makes me laugh more than anything,” wrote the user with the Twitter handle J/. Also they’re walking with a nuclear bomb in hand in the middle of NYC and not scared it might blow up???”
Indian journalist Abhijit Majumder wrote: “Wow. Power of the global jihad industry. Tainting Hindu nationalism through #Hollywood to cover up for world’s greatest terror exporter, Pakistan. Amaze. #Quantico.”
Actress Koena Mitra tweeted a link to a past interview of showrunner Josh Safran in which he’d said, “For me, it was important to not ever put a Muslim terrorist on our show. There hasn’t been one.”
“Yes, why not, fictions should avoid facts! #Terrorist #AntiIndiaGang #MiddleEast #Quantico #India,” wrote Mitra.
One user wrote that Chopra is aware of the “ground realities” and yet she chose to act in the scene berating India.
“Priyanka Chopra’s #Quantico shows Hindu Nationalists with Rudrakshs plotting to blow up Manhattan to frame Pakistan,” Twitter user Naina wrote. “It’s unfortunate that Piggy Chops an Indian National was OK and agreed to be a part of the show that disrespected India despite being aware of ground realities.”
Writer Hindol Sengupta wrote that because of misrepresentations such as these, a global conversation on cultural appropriation is the need of the hour.
“First, the Nazis stole the swastika, revered for thousands of years by an entire people A similar vile theft is @QuanticoTV and @priyankachopra's use of the rudraksha in that asinine show #Quantico,” he wrote.
Chopra hasn’t responded to the online outcry over the controversial episode that was titled, “The Blood of Romeo,” but the network June 8 apologized to Indian fans.
“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 network said in a statement, reports Deadline. “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.”
Further explaining that “Quantico” is a “work of fiction,” the network said that 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,” it added.
This is “Quantico’s” third and final season.