ABC is offering a mea culpa for a storyline in Quantico‘s June 1 episode.
The hour, titled “The Blood of Romeo,” depicted Hindu nationalists trying to make it look as though Pakistan were behind a terror plot in New York City — a move that caused online furor and a call for Indians to boycott products endorsed by series star Priyanka Chopra.
During the episode, a suspect is shown to be wearing Rudraksh beads, traditionally used as prayer beads in Hinduism. When Chopra’s Alex Parrish sees the religious paraphernalia, she uses the information to surmise that Indian nationalists want to frame Pakistan for a planned nuclear attack.
“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,'” the network said via statement. “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.”
The recently cancelled drama “is a work of fiction,” the statement continues. “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.”
Star Priyanka Chopra has since weighed in on social media, saying she’s “extremely saddened and sorry” if anyone was hurt by the episode: