Priyanka Chopra was in the middle of a controversy in 2017 and the reason was her photo op with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2017, Chopra Jonas was in Berlin to promote Baywatch, a film she had worked in alongside Quantico. She was photographed there with Narendra Modi, who was in Berlin at the same time to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The actress was heavily trolled for wearing a dress to the meeting. In her memoir Unfinished, she has opened up about the controversy. She writes, “The prime minister and I happened to be staying at the same hotel, and I contacted his office to request an audience with him.” The actor, her American publicist and her brother spent a few minutes with Modi and shared pictures of the encounter online. She had been wearing a dress since she had been promoting Baywatch, she states.
There was criticism that her legs were both exposed and crossed in a disrespectful manner, she recalls. She was “angry and confused” by the reaction. “My response to the anger was to take a picture of my mom and me out at dinner that night in our short skirts and with our legs crossed, and post it online with the caption ‘it runs in the family’. But all joking aside, I felt that I had presented myself respectfully.”
She was similarly pained when a cover for Maxim India led trolls to accuse the magazine of photoshopping her armpits. More outrage followed during the third season of Quantico, after an episode about Hindu extremists trying to launch an attack on Manhattan and blame it on Pakistan. Chopra Jonas recalls the “worldwide backlash”, and points out in Unfinished that she didn’t have any control over the storyline.
These episodes led to a change in her relationship with social media platforms. She elaborates, “A relationship that had once been enjoyable and positive eventually transformed into one of mistrust and fear... I’ve come to see that there are times when you should speak up, and times when it’s better not to. So I’ve started picking my battles.”
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