English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Amazon goes into damage-control mode with apology for ‘Tandav’

Amazon goes into damage-control mode with apology for ‘Tandav’

US tech giant Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service has gone into damage-control mode with the issuing of a rare apology to its Indian viewers for some scenes in its original political drama series “Tandav,” that had hurt Hindu religious sentiments.

Amazon is currently confronted with police complaints and court cases alleging the show had depicted Hindu gods and goddesses in a derogatory manner, and offended religious beliefs. MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party have also criticised the depiction of these scenes.

In a statement under the heading : “Amazon Prime Video Apologizes”, the company said it deeply regrets viewers considered certain scenes to be objectionable.

Amazon said it “apologizes unconditionally to anyone who felt hurt, ”and promised to develop content while respecting the diversity of audiences’ culture and beliefs.

The “Tandav” controversy escalated last week when the UP police had grilled a top Amazon for several hours in a case filed against the show.

The US tech giant has deleted the objectionable scenes from the Tandav series which features a top Bollywood line-up comprising actors Saif Ali Khan, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dimple Kapadia and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.

In January 2020, Amazon founder Jeff had amid a lot of fanfare attended a Prime Video event in Mumbai with Bollywood stars and announced the company would increase its investments in these productions. He said Prime Video was doing well globally “but nowhere is it doing better than India”.

Amazon is betting big on the fast-growing Indian market as it has committed investments of a whopping $6.5 billion, in e-commerce, video streaming and cloud computing.

New regulations

Shows on streaming platforms such as Netflix Inc and Amazon Prime have often run into objections in India for being vulgar or offending beliefs.

The government had last week announced new rules to regulate these video streaming OTT platforms. They will be required to classify content into five categories based on users’ age, the government said.

The rules stipulate self-classification for streaming services on content that is for 13-plus, 16-plus or adults on the basis of age sex, violence and nudity. A mechanism for ensuring children do not access content not approved for them will also have to be put in place. .

A detailed version of the guidelines is to be published later and take effect three months after that, the government said.

Retail biz, too, under fire

Amazon is also facing stiff opposition from local traders who are seeking a ban on its retail business as it is allegedly violating FDI rules in the country. It has been accused of giving preferential treatment to a small group of big sellers on its India platform and offering deep discounts which are hurting small local traders.