After actress Priyanka Chopra became the target of harassment and outrage, ABC has apologized for a recent episode of "Quantico" featuring what one Hindu scholar slammed as "the myth of Hindu terror."
A recent episode of "Quantico," which stars Chopra — a 35-year-old actress who has successfully crossed over to Hollywood from Bollywood — involved Indian nationalists attempting to frame Pakistan for a terrorist bombing in New York. After the show aired, Chopra became the target of online attacks and calls for boycotts of her work and the brands she promotes, among them Samsung, Reuters reports.
One particular scene earned the ire of critics, who called for it to be blacked out: As evidence that one of the plotters is an Indian nationalist, Chopra holds up sacred Hindu prayer beads.
"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?" wrote Hindu scholar David Frawley in a tweet.
ABC has since issued an apology and attempted to shield Chopra from the misdirected outrage.
"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," said ABC in a statement Friday reported by Reuters.
"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," ABC said.
Reuters notes that Hindu nationalists have repeatedly criticized films and other products of popular culture in recent years. Backlash against actor Aamir Khan in 2016 over his comments about the problem of intolerance in India resulted in Snapdeal letting him go, while earlier this year, "a fringe outfit held violent protests and threatened actors over the release of Bollywood film 'Padmaavat,' which showed a Muslim ruler pursuing a Hindu queen."