ABC apologised Friday for an episode of the show Quantico that drew criticism for depicting an Indian terrorist group. The episode, titled "The Blood of Romeo," aired June 1. "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 in a 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."
In the episode, an Indian group plots a terrorist attack in Manhattan with the intention of blaming the events on Pakistan — this would disrupt the peace talks happening in the show's version of political events. Fans of the show criticised the episode for its decision to portray Indians as terrorists. Chopra, who is Indian, drew much of the criticism.
On June 9, Chopra also apologised 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 apologise. I'm a proud Indian and that will never change.— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) June 9, 2018
ABC's statement continues, "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."
The show has, in the past, made efforts to avoid stereotyping its villains. Former Quantico showrunner Joshua Safran stated during a New York Times roundtable in 2016 that the show would never feature a Muslim terrorist. "For me, it was important to not ever put a Muslim terrorist on our show. There hasn’t been one," he said.
ABC recently cancelled Quantico in a massive television overhaul. The current season, the third, will be its last.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story misstated that Joshua Safran was the current showrunner of Quantico. Michael Seitzman is the current showrunner for Quantico. We regret the error.