ABC has issued an apology after a recent episode of Priyanka Chopra drama series Quantico that revolved around Indian terrorists plotting an attack in Manhattan with the goal of blaming Pakistan for it.
The episode, entitled The Blood of Romeo, aired on June 1. In it, Chopra’s character, FBI agent Alex Parrish, thwarts a terror plot just days before a summit between India and Pakistan is to be held. During her investigations, Parrish finds a religious Hindu symbol — a Rudraksh chain — on the neck of one of the suspects, leading her to conclude that the plot was devised by Indian nationalists to frame Pakistan in a nuclear terror attack.
The episode caused a social media storm, with fans questioning how Chopra, who is Indian, could have agreed to be part of the controversial plot.
In its statement, ABC said: “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.” ABC added that “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.”
ABC also explained that “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.”
Chopra also later put out a statement, writing on Twitter: “I’m 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 apologize. I’m a proud Indian and that will never change.”
Quantico is in its third and final season, after ABC canceled the show along with the Kiefer Sutherland drama Designated Survivor. After being off the air for nearly a year, the third season of Quantico premiered to a lackluster 0.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demo and fewer than 3 million total viewers — tying its series low. Still, the ABC Studios-produced drama had strong international sales, thanks in part to Chopra’s massive following. In India, the show airs on English entertainment channel Star World, which is part of Fox’s Star India unit.