Hindu Group Accuses 'Sleepy Hollow' of "Distorting" Faith, Seeks Fox Apology
The Universal Society of Hinduism took particular issue with the "Kali Yuga" episode, which aired on Jan. 26.
A Hindu group is seeking an apology from Fox for the distortion of their faith in the television show Sleepy Hollow.
In a statement, Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said his group took particular issue with the "Kali Yuga" episode of the current season of Sleepy Hollow, which aired on Jan. 26.
Zed said the depiction of the Hindu goddess Kali was "highly inappropriate" and urged public apologies from all involved, including creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Fox TV chairman Gary Newman and even 21st Century Fox boss Rupert Murdoch.
The goddess Kali is revered in Hinduism, said Zed, and the deity was not to be casually depicted for dramatic effect in TV shows. Zed also noted a number of errors made by the writers of the show, principally how Vetala (a demonic spirit) was depicted as a demon servant of goddess Kali, while in Hindu beliefs, goddess Kali and Vetala were not connected at all. The episode also showed a goddess Kali statue being used trying to turn a man into a demon, which is unheard of in mainstream Hinduism, Zed said.
A statement from Fox Broadcasting Company, Twentieth Century Fox Television and the producers of the show said:
"Sleepy Hollow creatively builds upon history and mythology from all times and cultures for its storylines, which are rooted in fantasy. The goal is to entertain, never to offend, and we sincerely apologize if any of the images or characters in this week’s episode were not respectful toward the Hindu faith. That was absolutely not our intent."
Jan. 29 7:35 p.m. Updated with statement from Fox TV and Sleepy Hollow producers.