To All Concerned,
Renaissance Pictures and its business partners are not insensitive to the concerns of Hindus worldwide. The earnest and understandable efforts of some Hindus to convey their distress over the depiction of Krishna in the Xena episode, "The Way," were blurred by the intolerant attitudes in which the issue was initially couched.
On February 23, 1999, the Xena production staff was sent a letter from Tustas Krishnadas, Press Secretary of the World Vaishnava Association. In his letter, he wrote that the Xena episode, "The Way," which, at the time of his letter had not yet been screened, was . . .
"offensive in two ways: (1) It treats Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, speaker of the scripture Bhagavad-gita, as fictional, and (2) since in this episode Lord Krishna is engaged in fictional activities of helping Xena reunite with Gabrielle, who is obviously her lesbian lover, it makes it appear that Lord Krishna and the Vedic religion approve of and give blessings to homosexual relationships, which is completely false."
While the first point is certainly worth serious discussion, the second point was difficult not to treat as just another piece of hate mail.
Over the years, we at Renaissance Pictures have read thousands of letters protesting our depiction of interracial love affairs; our portrayal of Cleopatra as black; of Hercules' and Xena's tolerance of others' religious, ideological, or sexual leanings. We have even received criticism of the diverse ethnicities which we choose to have people our villages. Why we do not respond to letters of that nature is obvious. However, by not responding to this letter, we were then made the target of misinformation and outright lies.
Every critic has a personal agenda. Many agendas are worthy of consideration. However, those born out of bigotry and intolerance must be fought. To those Hindus we offended, our apology stands. To those with an agenda of intolerance, this is not a victory.
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