Actress Priyanka Chopra receives backlash over Quantico Plotline
Christian Mc Karthy | On 07, Jul 2018
Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who stars in the American television series Quantico, has been met with much criticism over a subplot that involved a terrorist of Indian descent.
Priyanka Chopra, a well known and accomplished Indian actress who started her fruitful career in the Bollywood scene, has been subjected to an overwhelming amount of criticism from the citizens of her home country. In a recent episode of ABC’s Quantico, a crime-thriller that stars Chopra, a subplot that depicts an Indian character in a negative light has sparked a lot of controversies.
The plot-line revolves around a potential terrorist attack in New York. Throughout the episode, it is revealed that the culprit is an Indian man who is a devout Hindu. The character is shown to be incredibly nationalistic, as he intended to blame the bombing on India’s neighbouring country Pakistan. Political relations between India and Pakistan have, historically, been quite hostile and complex. Chopra’s character, Alex Parrish, was the one that discovered the truth.
Many Indians felt as though the episode was an attack on the Hindu religion, an attack on India as a whole and urged others to boycott Chopra’s films and television shows. Individuals belonging to Hindu Sena, a right-wing nationalistic group, burned posters of her, threatened her life and suggested that she should be deported to Pakistan. In light of the backlash that she received, the actress issued an apology, stating that she is ‘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. I sincerely apologise. I’m a proud Indian, and that will never change.’
The ABC, the studio that produces Quantico, attempted to defend Chopra by explaining that the television series depicts antagonistic characters of ‘many different ethnicities and backgrounds.’ They also added that, because Chopra has ‘no involvement in the casting of the show or the storylines’, the blame should not be placed on her. The argument has been countered heavily, with some suggesting that regardless of her lack of creative control, involving herself in the program in any way is an insult to her country.
Although it is understandable that some people might have been personally offended by the episode’s content, as the ABC notes, extremists exist in every nation and religion worldwide. It was not creator Joshua Safran’s intention to imply that the many people who practice Hinduism are violent. After all, it is objectively a very peaceful religion.
Although it is undeniable that Priyanka Chopra has been subjected to a lot of harsh, hate-fuelled words, she is also garnering support from many Indians who believe that this was not a personal attack on their country or their country’s primary religion. Despite the aftermath of the episode in question, Chopra plans to retain her lead role on Quantico.