Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Indian actress apologizes over role in US TV series

AFP, NEW DELHI

Bollywood superstar Priyanka Chopra yesterday apologized after her appearance in a US TV series that showed her uncovering a terror plot hatched by Indian Hindu nationalists sparked controversy at home.

The episode of spy thriller Quantico showed Chopra’s character, an FBI agent named Alex Parrish, thwarting the plan and noticing one of the terrorists wearing a Hindu rosary.

The terrorists had tried to frame Pakistanis for the attack planned ahead of a summit on Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory that both India and Pakistan claim as their own.

Kashmir has been a source of historical tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors, which have fought two wars over it.

The episode, aired on June 1, triggered outrage in India, with many fans taking to social media to shame the Indian-born actress and calling her a “traitor.”

Chopra, a former Miss World, said she is “a proud Indian and that will never change.”

“I’m extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico,” Chopra, 35, wrote on Twitter. “That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologise.”

ABC Studios, the producer of the crime drama, has also offered an apology, while defending Chopra, who is the lead actor of the show.

“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,” US media quoted the studio as saying in a statement.

“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 said.

A street protest was on Saturday held in New Delhi by a fringe Hindu outfit demanding that Chopra be sent to Pakistan as a punishment.

“Sellouts like her are an insult to India. She consciously consented for the act. Shame,” journalist Jagriti Shukla wrote on Twitter.

The government “should cancel @priyankachopra passport & should not allow her to enter our nation... Let her stay in Hollywood & lick Pakistan boots. Traitor,” film critic Sumit Kadel tweeted.

Chopra, the first Indian to headline a US network series, is hugely popular among Indian fans and feted for having made it in the Western entertainment industry.

However, she has been criticized by Hindu hardliners for visiting Rohingya Muslims and ignoring persecuted Hindus during her visit to Bangladesh as a UN Children’s Fund goodwill ambassador.

She was also accused of disrespecting Indian sensibilities by wearing a dress that exposed her legs during a meeting in Berlin last year with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

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