Florence Pugh, Cillian Murphy’s ‘Oppenheimer’ sex scene condemned as a Hinduism ‘attack’
Indian authorities have strongly criticized Christopher Nolan’s latest film, “Oppenheimer,” accusing it of being a “harsh attack on Hinduism” due to a sex scene involving actors Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh. Uday Mahurkar, a journalist and government-appointed information commissioner, expressed his disapproval in a lengthy tweet on Saturday, highlighting the use of the Bhagavad Gita in the scene. Mahurkar, who also founded the Save Culture Save India (SCSI) Foundation, referred to the Bhagavad Gita as one of Hinduism’s most respected scriptures. He questioned the purpose and reasoning behind the inclusion of this unnecessary scene in the life of a scientist and claimed that it directly targeted the religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus. Mahurkar even suggested that it seemed to be part of a larger conspiracy orchestrated by anti-Hindu forces.
In response to this controversy, Indian officials have demanded that Christopher Nolan remove the controversial sex scene from “Oppenheimer.” The scene, which includes a reference to the Bhagavad Gita, has drawn criticism for its portrayal of Pugh’s character, Jean Tatlock, interrupting the intercourse to retrieve the sacred text from a bookshelf and instructing Murphy’s character, J. Robert Oppenheimer, to recite from it. Murphy reads the famous line, “I am become Death, destroyer of worlds,” before the sexual encounter continues.
Mahurkar’s letter further claimed that Hollywood has been hesitant to include Islamic scripture and the Quran in films to avoid offending the common Muslim value system. He questioned why Hindus were not afforded the same courtesy and appealed to Nolan, on behalf of a billion Hindus, to remove the controversial scene in order to uphold the dignity of the Bhagavad Gita. Mahurkar warned that ignoring this appeal would be seen as a deliberate assault on Indian civilization.
As of now, Nolan has not publicly addressed the backlash, and TheFantasyTimes’s attempts to reach out to the director’s lawyer for comment have been unsuccessful. The controversy surrounding the film arises following its release in theaters on Friday, where it attracted fans to early morning premieres in India. “Oppenheimer,” an R-rated historical drama that explores Oppenheimer’s role in the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II, has already grossed $174.2 million worldwide. Murphy, who portrays J. Robert Oppenheimer, recently described the sex scenes with Pugh, who plays Jean Tatlock, as incredibly powerful and purposeful.
Indian officials have denounced Christopher Nolan’s latest film “Oppenheimer” as a “scathing attack on Hinduism” for a sex scene between Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh.
In a lengthy tweet shared Saturday, journalist and government-appointed information commissioner Uday Mahurkar slammed Nolan and the scene for its use of the Bhagavad Gita, which he called “one of the most revered scriptures of Hinduism.”
“We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene on life of a scientist,” wrote Mahurkar, who also founded the Save Culture Save India (SCSI) Foundation.
“But this is a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus, rather it amounts to waging a war on the Hindu community and almost appears to be part of a larger conspiracy by anti-Hindu forces.”
The Bhagavad Gita is a 700-verse scripture that dates back thousands of years and is considered a sacred text in Hinduism.
During the sex scene in question, Pugh’s character, Jean Tatlock, stops intercourse to pull the Bhagavad Gita from a bookshelf before instructing Murphy’s character, J. Robert Oppenheimer, to read from the literature.
“I am become Death, destroyer of worlds,” the actor reads as the sex resumes.
Mahurkar’s letter went on to claim that Hollywood has been reluctant to include Islamic scripture and the Quran in films so as not to “offend the value system of a common Muslim.”
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“Why should not the same courtesy be also extended to Hindus?” he asked.
He then urged Nolan — “on behalf of billion Hindus” — to remove the controversial sex scene from “Oppenheimer” to “uphold [the] dignity” of the Bhagavad Gita.
“Should you choose to ignore this appeal it would be deemed as a deliberate assault on Indian [civilization],” Mahurkar added.
Nolan has yet to publicly address the backlash.
TheFantasyTimes reached out to the director’s lawyer but did not immediately receive a response.
The controversy comes after the R-Rated historical drama hit theaters Friday, drawing fans to the movie’s premiere in India as early as 3 a.m., according to Variety.
The film, which follows Oppenheimer as he oversaw the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II, has grossed $174.2 million globally since its release.
Murphy, 47, recently addressed his sex scenes with Pugh, 27, in the film, calling them “f—king powerful.”
“Those scenes were written deliberately,” Murphy told the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.
“He [Nolan] knew that those scenes would get the movie the rating that it got. And I think when you see it, it’s so f—ing powerful.”
He added, “And they’re not gratuitous. They’re perfect. And Florence is just amazing.”