Amazon Prime Video apologises over "Tandav" controversy

Writer: Heidi Hsia

4 Mar –Amazon Prime Video recently found themselves apologising to its Indian audiences following a scene in its web series "Tandav" that is deemed hurtful to Hindu sentiments.

The company released a statement with regard to the issue, which read, "This was never our intention, and the scenes that were objected to were removed or edited when they were brought to our attention. We respect our viewers' diverse beliefs and apologise unconditionally to anyone who felt hurt by these scenes."

"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."

It is noted that a series of First Information Reports (FIR) were filed against the makers and cast of the series in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra back in January by members of the political party BJP, after a character played by Muslim actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, portrayed the Hindu God Shiva and depicts a university play in which the Hindu god talks about "aazadi" (freedom).

Prior to Amazon Prime's apology, its director Ali Abbas Zafar has already said his sorry, writing, "The web series Tandav is a work of fiction and any resemblance to acts and persons and events is purely coincidental. The cast and crew did not have any intention to offend the sentiments of any individual, caste, community, race, religion or religious beliefs or insult or outrage any institution, political party or person, living or dead. The cast and crew of Tandav take cognizance of the concerns expressed by the people and unconditionally apologize if it has unintentionally hurt anybody's sentiments."

 Zafar had immediately apologised following the first backlash
Zafar had immediately apologised following the first backlash

It is noted that a top executive from the company was previously questioned by the Uttar Pradesh police over allegations of hurting religious sentiments and spreading communal hatred through their show.

The political thriller "Tandav" was launched on Amazon Prime back in January this year and stars Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, and Kumud Misra among others.

"Tandav" stars Saif Ali Khan as charismatic political leader fighting for the chair of Prime Minister
"Tandav" stars Saif Ali Khan as charismatic political leader
fighting for the chair of Prime Minister

Amazon Prime and
Amazon Prime and "Tandav" makers drew ire of BJP members over the depiction
Cinema Online, 04 March 2021

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