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Pakistanis want apology from Hollywood

Quantico controversy sparks Pakistani social media users to demand an apology from Hollywood for perpetuating stereotypes

  • A scene from television series 'Homeland'Image Credit: Supplied
  • A scene from the television series 'Quantico'Image Credit: Supplied
Gulf News

Dubai: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra apologised. The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) apologised. But, Pakistani tweeps are unhappy.

A controversial episode of the American series Quantico by ABC and featuring Chopra, showed right-wing Hindu nationalists in a terror conspiracy. Indian social media erupted. Some for and against the actress, it even led to Indian Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar losing his restaurant affiliation in Dubai for Islamophobic comments in response to Chopra’s apology.

Now, Pakistanis and Muslims are demanding an apology from Hollywood and Bollywood for “demonising” them for years.

Tweep @ShakeelSpeaks posted: “@priyankachopra was forced to say sorry over #Quantico episode depicting a character as a Hindu extremist. I guess whole Bollywood, Hollywood and other Woods will have to say sorry to the Muslims zillion times because they have demonised Muslims from years.”

Overall tweeps accused the film industry of having double standards.

Twitter user Akbar Wajahat @AWajahat3 posted: “Don’t see why producers of Quantico needed to apologise to anyone. The series is a work of FICTION. Plus people are seemingly ok with Muslims being portrayed as terrorists in Hollywood/Bollywood quite regularly...”

Tweep @NoManIsPerfekt wrote: “So apparently everyone apologised for that #Quantico episode. No one has ever apologised to Pakistan… you know why: Because stereotypes, racism and double standards right...”

Asif Al @asifal19 seemed to have similar sentiments and added that Chopra shouldn’t have been blamed: “….She has no power in what Quantico team writes... She is just an actor… There have been Muslims in Hollywood playing the terrorist... No one has said anything….”

Novelist and niece of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto’s tweet calling out specific television shows further fuelled the discussion.

Using her twitter handle @fbhutto, she tweeted: “Super. We’ll be here waiting for an apology from Homeland, 24, Tyrant, Rambo, Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper, Munich...”

On the same sentiment, Twitter user Adam Khan @Khanoisseur posted: “The history of caricaturing Muslims is almost as old as Hollywood itself, but shows like Homeland, 24 and Quantico have mass stylized Islamophobia, willfully vilifying an entire community in the name of ‘fighting terror’ and helped bleed alt-right extremism into wider society.”

Some emphasised that Hollywood is not only to blame, Indians need to hold Bollywood accountable for perpetuating stereotypes, too.

Tweep @astur7 wrote: “Indians uproar over the Quantico episode where they’re portrayed as terrorists is a bit funny considering how they portray Muslims in their films.”

However, Twitter user @VamseeJuluri highlighted that Bollywood has previously been criticised for its actions and defaming Hinduism is an ongoing problem. He defended: “Not true, there are several academic articles criticising Bollywood’s depiction of Muslims. Global academia & media recognize Islamophobia. No lack of support. And Quantico isn’t just ‘one fiction’. 2 of 3 biggest Western movies on India (ToD, Slumdog) brazenly demonise Hinduism.”

Whereas, some thought the matter was blown out of proportion and should not be taken too seriously.

Abdul Rehman @luckyz18 tweeted: “Why apologise? It’s just a plot. When Hollywood wants to show terrorism they show Pakistan and when dirty slums and poverty they show India. They can’t be apologising for every movie.”

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