Foundation Demands FX Network Apology: "The League" Episode Offensive

December 23, 2009
 
FX Networks, LLC

President-General Manager, Mr. John Landgraf
Senior VP Original Programming FX and EVP, FX Production, Mr. Eric Schrier
10201 W. Pico Blvd., Bldg. 103

Los Angeles, CA 90035 
 
Arvind Chandrakantan, MD
Executive Council, Hindu American Foundation
5268G Nicholson Lane # 164
Kensington, MD 20895
 
Dear Mr.Landgraf and Mr. Shrier,
 
The recent season finale of The League, The Shiva Bowl, which used Nataraja, a sacred icon representing Lord Shiva in dancing form, as a trophy was deeply offensive, disrespectful and profane towards Hinduism.  In an intensely crude scene, a woman's undergarments were thrown on the image of Nataraja in the very beginning of the episode--an unnecessarily provocative insult.
 
Hindus generally worship their murthis (images or icons of the Divine) with flowers, incense, fruits and milk. While we understood the transposition of Lord Shiva with Shiva, the girl who was the focus of the episode, we believe that the subtlety of the transposition, and purely unnecessary misuse of Hindu iconography perpetuates misunderstandings about Hinduism.  In the wake of global events and escalating attacks on minority faiths, we believe misrepresentations such as this are the seeds of ignorance which lead to untoward acts of violence and persecution globally.
 
Just as viewers or producers would not blithely film a scene where a woman's undergarments are hurled upon on a Star of David, an image of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary, or any other faiths' symbols for the sake of a cheap laugh, a similar respect should be accorded to two million American Hindus. 
 
We request a written apology and explanation that we may disseminate to our membership to explicate the filming of this episode that has led to numerous calls of indignation to our offices.  Additionally, may we request that you avoid gross transgressions on such deeply religious sentiments in the future?
 
Yours Sincerely,
Arvind Chandrakantan, MD                                                                                                             Executive Council, Hindu American Foundation