A Hindu group has called on ABC to apologize following an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that suggested the god Vishnu, like the hero Thor, might be an alien.
In the Nov. 19 episode, which tied into the events of Thor: The Dark World, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and hacker Skye (Chloe Bennett) have an exchange designed to deliver exposition about the Asgardians, who in the Marvel Universe are ancient aliens who were mistaken for gods when they visited Earth thousands of years ago. “Do you think other deities are aliens, too?” Skye asks. “Vishnu for sure, right?”
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, thinks those lines are “inappropriate,” as they “unnecessarily drag a highly revered Hindu deity in a television episode and then create misinformation about the oldest and third largest religion among a large audience.”
In a statement, the organization stressed that Hindus support free speech, “But faith was something sacred and attempts at debasing it hurt the adherents. Television and Hollywood should be more conscious while handling faith related subjects, as television and cinema were very mighty mediums and these could create stereotypes in the minds of some audiences.”
Zed is calling on ABC and Marvel to apologize, and, in an effort to correct the “misinformation/misrepresentation,” “post information about Lord Vishnu and Hinduism on their respective websites.”