Hindus are disturbed over the portrayal of Lord Ganesh as a sex act on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) and want apologies from all those responsible for it, including actor Jim Carrey and NBC.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects in TV series for mercantile greed.
"Such absurd depiction of Lord Ganesh with no scriptural backing was hurtful to the devotees," Mr Zed said.
In a skit on NBC’s SNL (January 8) titled “The Wrath of Ganesh”, Jim Carrey (as erotic shaman Lee Licious) and Kenan Thomson (as Grady Wilson) demonstrate a sexual technique, mocking elephant-headed Lord Ganesh and his trunk in the process. Grady has travelled the world to find new sexual techniques to spice up the bedroom, the tagline of the episode (1587) “Grady Wilson's Tantric N'Tasty” says.
Such trivialisation of Lord Ganesh was disturbing and offensive to the one billion Hindus world over, Mr Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said and requested NBC to immediately remove it from all its websites and other links.
Mr Zed also asked Golden Globe winner actor-comedian Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) , actor-comedian Kenan Thomson, NBC Universal president and chief executive Jeff Zucker, and SNL Executive Producer Lorne Michaels to tender a public apology for it and urged them not to inappropriately drag Hindu deities to advance the commercial or other agenda in the future.
"Hindus welcomed Hollywood and other entertainment industries to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not just for indecorous showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance their selfish agenda.
"Casual flirting sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees," Mr Zed pointed out.
Mr Zed said that Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly.
"No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at," said Mr Zed, adding that if Hollywood or other entertainment executives needed any assistance about Hinduism, he or other Hindu scholars would be glad to help.
Meanwhile, Forum for Hindu Awakening has called it a “grave denigration” and “vulgar mockery of Sri Ganesh”, appealing devout Hindus worldwide to protest against it.
Emmy winning late-night comedy show SNL, which entertains millions each week, entered 36th season on September 25. Headquartered in New York (USA), founded in 1926, and available in about 112 million households; NBC Universal claims to be one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.
Lord Ganesh, however, is favourite of many Hollywood celebrities. According to reports, actress-director Goldie Hawn reveres Lord Ganesh, actress Olivia Hussey possesses an extensive collection of his statues, actress Kelli Williams considers him as her favourite, while writer-director Tracey Jackson wears Lord Ganesh necklace. In Bollywood, Mumbai-based Indian film industry considered largest in the world, most of the productions start with invoking Lord Ganesh.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.