ABC, Priyanka Chopra Offer Apology After Controversial 'Quantico' Episode

Quantico star Priyanka Chopra and the producers at ABC issued apologies after a recent episode of the canceled drama series, titled "The Blood of Romeo," sparked backlash over its depiction of Indian terrorists.

"I'm extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico," Chopra tweeted on Saturday. "That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologise. I'm a proud Indian and that will never change."

The episode, which aired on June 1, saw Chopra's FBI agent Alex Parrish thwarting a terrorist attack by Indian nationalists, who sought to blame the planned violence on Pakistan. The episode aired just days before a summit between the two countries, Entertainment Weekly reports.

The subject matter sparked backlash online with some viewers calling it a "nonsensical" and "stupid" episode, while many wondered how Chopra, an Indian actress, could have gone along with the storyline.

"Just saw the Quantico clip. Slow clap Ms.Chopra. Words fail me," one user wrote.

"Latest episode of Quantico is about Hindu men with Rudrakshas [prayer beads] who are identified as Indian nationalists with knowledge of Indian government planning a Nuclear attack and blaming Pakistan and the Great priyanka chopra with FBI team stops it," another wrote. "Mainstreaming fake narrative."

ABC released its own statement on the controversy, apologizing if the fictional storyline offended anyone.

"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,'" a statement from ABC Studios and the producers read. "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."

They continued: "Quantico is a work of fiction. 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."

Many on social media supported Chopra and the series, emphasizing on the fact the show followed a fictional storyline.

"The series, the plot, are fictional," one user tweeted. "Or are you saying even that is not allowed, that even in fiction one must remove the possibility that terrorists can be from faiths other than Islam?"

"I have to agree with Anand here. The plot is fiction. Quantico is an amateurish series with a bad plot. But to hold [Priyanka Chopra] accountable is quite silly."

India and Pakistan have been in conflict for years, stemming from the partition of British India in 1947 and fought three wars since then.

Despite hopes to remain civil and the upcoming peace talks, India in recent years has had its films banned in Pakistan due to a slew of their movies propagating anti-Pakistan sentiment through its own fictional narratives, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter and ARY News.

1comments

Quantico, currently in its third and final season, was canceled by ABC in May, at the same time as Kiefer Sutherland's Designated Survivor.

The series airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on ABC.