After the cast and crew of the Amazon Prime Video show ‘Tandav’, including Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan and director Ali Abbas Zafar, apologised for their fictional series that raised objections from Hindu nationalists in January, the web platform giant has also put forward an unconditional apology.
In a statement issued on March 2, they made it clear that the scenes that were considered offensive were either ‘removed or edited’.
“Amazon Prime Video again deeply regrets that viewers considered certain scenes to be objectionable in the recently launched fictional series ‘Tandav’. This was never our intention, and the scenes that were objected to were removed or edited when they were brought to our attention,” said Amazon Prime Video in their statement.
“We respect our viewers’ diverse beliefs and apologise unconditionally to anyone who felt hurt by these scenes.”
Certain scenes in the big-budget Khan-led series, modelled loosely on the hit Hollywood web show ‘House of Cards’, were accused of being insensitive towards Hindus.
Calls for a ban of the show and protests were also staged, with a BJP member claiming that the show was deliberately mocking Hindu deities.
“Our teams follow company content evaluation processes, which we acknowledge need to be constantly updated to better serve our audiences. We will continue to develop entertaining content with partners while complying with the laws of India and respecting the diversity of culture and beliefs of our audiences,” added Amazon Prime Video in their statement.
Following the India-wide outcry, the show’s director Zafar had also put out a statement on his Instagram and Twitter.
“The cast and crew of ‘Tandav’ unconditionally apologise if it has unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments,” said Zafar, promising to implement changes to the scenes that stoked anger.
Security was also beefed up at Khan’s Mumbai residence. It was also rumoured that the web platform postponed the release of the second season of another highly-anticipated show ‘The Family Man’ starring Manoj Bajpayee fearing backlash.
‘Tandav’ shone the spotlight on a wily, power-hungry politician Samar Pratap Singh who goes to great lengths to remain relevant in his circles. He plots to eliminate even his on-screen father and Prime Minister Devki Nandan (Tigmanshu Dhulia) to achieve political greatness and climb up the ranks.
The ‘Tandav’ makers have now removed a scene in which the fictional Indian prime minister in the series is shown speaking rudely to a lower-caste person. Another scene where a college student is seen swearing at a deity has also been snipped.
This series isn’t the only show that has courted controversy and triggered calls for a boycott. At least three criminal complaints have been filed against the makers.
The BBC adaptation of Vikram Seth’s tome ‘A Suitable Boy’ on Netflix stirred trouble for a kissing scene. According to reports, a journalist also filed a criminal complaint against the makers of ‘Mirzapur’, another hit show from the Amazon Prime Video plate, for showcasing the actual North Indian town. The journalist claimed the series hurt regional and religious sentiments and defamed the small town.