(Adds statement from TV show's producer)
CARACAS, Sept 2 Venezuela has lashed out at new
U.S. television show "Legends" for an episode that mentions
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in connection with the
buying of chemical weapons to quell unrest at home.
"For lies and manipulations against President @NicolasMaduro
in the series "Legends" we're requesting (National Telecoms
Commission) Conatel open an investigation," Information Minister
Delcy Rodriguez said in a tweet late on Monday night.
"The series Legends aired on U.S. channel TNT represents a
Hollywood script typical of imperialist actions against
legitimate governments," she added.
Fox 21, the Twenty-First Century Inc-owned producer
of the crime drama, apologized to Maduro in a statement.
"'Legends' is obviously a work of fiction," Fox 21 said.
"The producers did not intend to imply that the show was
reporting any actual events when it mentioned President Maduro's
name. We sincerely apologize to President Maduro."
Time Warner Inc-owned cable network TNT is currently
airing the first season of "Legends." The disputed episode,
"Lords of War," shows an undercover FBI agent, played by British
actor Sean Bean, burning a suspect with an iron to get him to
confess to whom he is selling VX, an extremely toxic nerve gas.
"I don't know," the man whimpers. "There's a proxy."
Bean responds, "And who is the proxy? Maduro."
The suspect says, "PSUV (United Socialist Party of
Venezuela). They're worried about the civil unrest in
Maduro endured three months of violent street protests at
the start of the year over spiraling inflation, rampant crime
and shortages of basic goods ranging from diapers to corn flour.
Maduro's predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, also frequently
lampooned Venezuela's ideological foe the United States.
Tensions ran especially high after a brief coup in 2002 that
Chavez blamed the United States for instigating.
It remains unclear what reach the investigation into
"Legends" will have.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer and Eyanir Chinea in Caracas,
additional reporting by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by