Controversy in India over Amazon’s political drama ‘Tandav’ has put Bollywood and global video streaming giants on edge, prompting closer scrutiny of scripts for a possible offense to religious sentiments in a key growth market.
Companies like Amazon’s Prime Video and Netflix are inspecting planned shows and scripts, with some even deleting scenes that could be controversial, five Bollywood directors and producers, and two industry sources said.
This comes as Amazon Prime Video has become embroiled in legal cases and police complaints alleging ‘Tandav’ depicts Hindu gods and goddesses in a derogatory manner and is offensive towards religious beliefs. ‘Tandav’, a Hindi word meaning fury, stars top Bollywood actors.
Public outcry over obscenity and religious depictions are common in culturally sensitive India, but the “Tandav” issue snowballed as police questioned Amazon India’s head of original content for Prime Video for hours following official complaints.
Fearing of getting arrested, Aparna Purohit put in an anticipatory bail plea, which was declined by a state court but the Supreme Court on Friday gave her protection from arrest.
“Scripts are being read and re-read now,” said a producer from Bollywood, India’s Hindi film industry. “Streaming platforms are vetting content for anything that they see as a red flag,” the producer added, requesting to be anonymous.
Amazon has decided to delay streaming a new season of a popular Hindi spy thriller, “The Family Man,” which was to be released last month, according to four anonymous