The Tamil-language movie “Annapoorani: The Goddess of Food,” featuring Nayanthara, has been taken down from Netflix after facing criticism from various Hindu groups. The film, released in theaters on December 1 and later streamed on Netflix from December 29, received complaints alleging that it offended Hindu religious sentiments.
Several Hindu groups across India, including activists from the Bajrang Dal in Mumbai and Ramesh Solanki, expressed their objections, filing police complaints against the film. Solanki specifically mentioned scenes that he found offensive, such as Nayanthara, portraying a Hindu priest’s daughter, offering a Muslim prayer while wearing a Muslim headdress. He also claimed that the film promotes the concept of “Love Jihad,” as the character played by Nayanthara’s Muslim friend allegedly brainwashes her to consume meat, citing Lord Rama and the goddess Sita’s supposed meat-eating habits.
The individuals named in the complaints include director Nilesh Krishnaa, Nayanthara, producers Jatin Sethi and R. Ravindran, Zee Entertainment Enterprises CEO Punit Goenka, Zee Studios chief business officer Shariq Patel, and Netflix India chief Monika Shergill.
In response, Zee Studios issued a letter addressed to the Vishva Hindu Parishad, expressing regret for any hurt caused and stating that the film would be removed from Netflix until edited, accompanied by an apology.
Nayanthara, renowned for her work across South Indian film industries, recently starred in the successful film “Jawan” alongside Shah Rukh Khan. “Annapoorani” marks her 75th film. Netflix and Zee Studios have been approached for comments by Variety.