Quantico Row: Priyanka Chopra's apology backfires; internet asks studio to similarly apologize for depicting Muslims as terrorists
The star's apology and ABC's statement did more harm than good as the regretful acknowledgment was met with an even more fierce flak on Social Media
The backlash for ABC's 'Quantico' series finale was so miring that it prompted the network and the star to respond to Twitter trolls. But the apology did more harm than good as the regretful acknowledgement was met with an even more fierce flak.
On June 9, ABC issued a statement following the June 1 episode that portrayed Indian nationalists trying to frame Pakistan in the terrorist plot. In the show, Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, who plays CIA operative Alex Parrish, foils a plot by Indian nationalists who want to carry out a nuclear attack in Manhattan.
'Quantico' has a large fan base among India viewers, who were fumed with the portrayal of India and Pakistan's enmity. "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," said ABC's statement.
Chopra, 35, so fans took to question how she could have agreed to play the part. "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," the statement further read.
The actress urged to take responsibility tweeted on Sunday.
"I'm extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico," the tweet read. "That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologise. I'm a proud Indian and that will never change."
Her apology, as well as ABC's statement, added more fuel to fire.
Many were in the defence saying that the portrayal of Hindu nationalism in a negative light isn't the same as branding the Hindu religion as the mastermind of terrorism. But, many pointed out that the apology, in fact, made matters worse, especially considering the show had featured antagonists of various different ethnicities and backgrounds ever since it premiered in 2015.
Muslims, in particular, have asked the studio to extend similar apologies to Muslims for their negative portrayals in their TV series in the past.
Fatima Bhutto, a writer from Pakistan tweeted; "Super. We’ll be here waiting for an apology from Homeland, 24, Tyrant, Rambo, Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper, Munich…”
She, conceded that her expectation was so unrealistic that she will "have to wait a few more forevers for that."
In her chain of comments, another writer commented saying; “Amen to that. An Argo. I want an apology for Argo.”
Twitter users from India, turned her apology into a political slant, saying that her apology for fictional character prompts Indian media to apologize for their fictional stories.
Whereas, others pointed out the futility of Chopra's apology, in the backdrop of how Muslims have played the role for ages.
Priyanka Chopra's apology was not more well-received than ABC's apology statement.
As the Quantico controversy refuses to die, Chopra seems to be on sticky wicket considering she plans to return to Bollywood when 'Quantico' wraps up in August.
Even after she issued an apology, angry protesters burnt posters of the show outside the Parliament Street police station in Delhi. In May, Chopra was already the center of controversy following her comment on the eviction of Rohingyas from Myanmar, following her visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
The actress has been a pride of India ever since she won the Miss World crown in 2000. She's also one of the famed Indian actress to land prominent roles in 'Quantico' and Hollywood flicks such as Baywatch. Many global and national brands have endorsed her. But now, she joins the likes of other Indian stars, including Aamir Khan, who had to step down as the ambassador of an online retail company after his comments on intolerance in India.
Taylor Swift had warned that "band-aids don't fix bullet holes," and rightly so, the back to back apologies have only added fuel to the fire.
The next episode of Quantico, 'The Heavens Fall', airs on June 15 and the show already suffering from low ratings, may just witness a silver lining — because this controversy may ignite viewers to seek if redemption is possible. It's fiction afterall.