The TNT series Legends has barely made a blip in the extensive TV lineup released this year by United States television networks, where the satellite telecommunications industry which controls TV broadcasting brings about $6 billion in revenue every year. But the show has plenty of critics in Venezuela.
Venezuelan officials complained at the show’s depiction of the country’s socialist government. The episode in question showed a fictional depiction of government officials, including President Nicolas Maduro and his party, buying chemical weapons and stockpiling nerve gas to suppress dissent.
Delcy Rodruiguez, the Venezuelan Minister of Information, called the script imperialist and hostile, and she also took to Twitter to decry the “Hollywood-type script typical in its imperialist actions against legitimate governments.”
The many complaints led to an investigation into the TV spy drama by the Venezuelan National Telecommunications Commission, though it’s unclear what the investigation will involve.
Fox 21, which produces the show, released a statement saying that “the producers did not intend to imply that the show was reporting any actual events when it mentioned President Maduro’s name.”
The name came up in the episode called “Lords of War,” when an agent on the show was shown interrogating a terrorist about the identity of chemicals weapons buyers. The character eventually blurts “Maduro! PSUV! They’re worried about the civil unrest in Venezuela.”
Civil unrest has been a touchy topic in Venezuela since spring, when international observers accused the government of human rights violations in their response to several anti-government street protests. Chemical weapons were not used.
“We sincerely apologize to President Maduro,” Fox 21 said, adding that the show was only fiction and not intended to cause offense.
In spite of the scene’s fictional nature, Record Searchlight reported that anti-government critics are already posting the short clip with the description “the scene Maduro doesn’t want you to see.” Perhaps the government does have cause for concern.