Amazon's India 'offense' leaves streamers jittery

Controversy in India over Amazon's political drama "Tandav" has put Bollywood and global video streaming giants on edge.

And there are now calls for closer scrutiny of scripts for possible offence to religious sentiments, in a key growth market for online streamers.

Sources say the likes of Amazon's Prime Video and Netflix are inspecting planned shows and scripts.

With some even deleting scenes that could be controversial.

It comes as Amazon Prime Video has become embroiled in legal cases and police complaints.

They allege "Tandav" depicts Hindu gods and goddesses in a derogatory manner.

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, Aparna Purohit, following complaints.

Amazon recently issued a public apology "to anyone who felt hurt" by "Tandav".

India, the world's second-most populous nation, is a valuable market for Amazon and its rivals.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said at an event last year that Prime Video was doing well globally "but nowhere it's doing better than India."

Netflix has announced 41 new shows and films for 2021 in India.

That's up from around 30 new titles last year.

Among the biggest fallout from the controversy is the rising fear of arrests.

Some producers are asking for clauses in their contracts with streaming services to protect them from lawsuits.

Video Transcript

- Controversy in India over Amazon's political drama, "Tandav," has put Bollywood and global video streaming giants on edge. And there are now calls for closer scrutiny of scripts for possible offense to religious sentiments. Sources say the likes of Amazon's Prime Video and Netflix are inspecting planned shows and scripts, with some even deleting scenes that could be controversial. It comes as Amazon Prime Video has been embroiled in legal cases and police complaints.

They allege "Tandav" depicts Hindu gods and goddesses in a derogatory manner. 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, Aparna Purohot, following complaints. Amazon recently issued a public apology to anyone who felt hurt by "Tandav." India, the world's second most populous nation, is a valuable market for Amazon and its rivals.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said at an event last year that Prime Video was doing well globally, but nowhere it's doing better than India. Netflix has announced 41 new shows and films for 2021 in India. That's up from around 30 titles last year. Among the biggest fallout from the controversy is the rising fear of arrests. Some producers are asking for clauses in their contracts with streaming services to protect them from lawsuits.