The cast and crew of Amazon Prime Video's glossy political show Tandav on Tuesday said they had decided to implement changes to 'address concerns', succumbing to the pressure of the chorus for a boycott, multiple first information reports and effigy burning in several parts of the country.
In their second apology statement in as many days, the show's team also thanked the ministry of information and broadcasting for its 'guidance and support' in the matter.
'The cast and crew of Tandav have made the decision to implement changes to the web series to address the concerns raised towards the same,' the team said.
Reiterating their apology, the makers behind the nine-episode political thriller said they had 'utmost respect' for the sentiments of the people.
'We did not intend to hurt or 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... We once again apologize if the series has unintentionally hurt anybody's sentiments,' they said in a brief statement.
At the centre of the row over the show, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, is a scene with Zeeshan Ayyub, in the role of college student Shiva, playing the Hindu god Mahadev in a theatre production.
As the controversy escalated for the third day, the makers tried to defuse the situation by announcing their decision to remove the controversial portion from the show, which balances intrigue in Delhi's corridors of power with hot button issues such as student unrest and farmer protests.
Tandav, which literally translates to 'dance of destruction', is the focus of multiple FIRs -- three in Uttar Pradesh and another in Madhya Pradesh.
There have been calls for its boycott on social media and from politicians of different states for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments with its depiction of Hindu deities.
In their statement on Monday, the makers had said their show is a work of fiction.
'The cast and crew of Tandav take cognisance of the concerns expressed by the people and unconditionally apologise if it has unintentionally hurt anybody's sentiments,' it said.
Despite their apology, the storm over the web series refused to die down on Tuesday with an FIR being lodged against the makers in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
The FIR names as accused series' director Zafar, Amazon Prime's India head Aparna Purohit, producer Himanshu Kishan Mehra, writer Gaurav Solanki and actors Saif, Dimple Kapadia and Sunil Grover.
While many political leaders, particularly from the BJP, have spoken out, mainstream showbiz personalities have mostly been silent.
Actor Swara Bhasker was one of the few to air her views.
'I'm a Hindu and I'm not offended by any scene in #Tandav .. Why #banTandavSeries #BanTandavNow ???' she tweeted on Tuesday.
Tandav is not the first and certainly not the last show on the streaming platforms, a booming market in India, to land in soup for one reason or another.
Most recently Netflix show A Suitable Boy, based on Vikram Seth's bestselling novel, attracted the ire of the right wing for a scene showing a Muslim man and a Hindu girl kissing in the backdrop of a temple.
Before that was Amazon's Pataal Lok that got into trouble for its depiction of communal issues, and Leila, which was called 'anti Hindu' for depicting the dystopian future of Aryavarta where purity of blood is enforced.
Not just shows, several movies have also faced battles be it Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Udta Punjab, or Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavaat, which saw its set being burned, the director manhandled and lead actor Deepika Padukone receiving death threats ahead of its release.
The government recently brought OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar, besides other online news and current affairs content, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, giving it powers to regulate policies and rules for the digital space.