The ABC series “Quantico” is being criticized for putting Donald Trump’s campaign slogan in the mouths of homegrown terrorists disillusioned by American involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
In the episode, during a flashback, FBI Agent Jordan Kent accuses agent Ryan Booth of helping a terrorist cell in Chicago. Kent blames Ryan for doing this because he “realized what a worthless war it was when you got back” from Afghanistan. The terrorists the agents refer to shouted “make America great again” as they carried out their attack.
Tony Sayegh, Republican strategist, acknowledges Hollywood can write whatever they want, but says linking political messages to domestic terrorism is not acceptable.
“I like a lot of these programs and am willing to give them creative license,” he said. “But when they try and take a legitimate political message being used in real time like ‘make America great again’ — which incidentally is working — and vilify it by connecting it to terrorism, they defy even the most generous level of objectivity.”
Talk Media News bureau chief and Democratic strategist Ellen Ratner, a FOX News contributor, said the episode was a clear attack on the right.
“Hollywood is indeed attacking the right, and that is to be expected, which is why on talk radio, California is called ‘the left coast,’” she said.
Dan Gainor, VP of business and culture for the Media Research Center, thinks the episode was out of line.
“The militia fad in Hollywood is trying to put its stamp on the signature national security issue of the election – terrorism,” Gainor said. “Only in America’s Left Coast is terrorism simply an issue of white men blowing up bombs. Terrorism everywhere else on the globe is linked to radical Islam, at least in part. Muslims attacked in Paris, San Bernadino, Chattanooga, Garland and New York.”
This isn’t the first time militia have become the plot line for a television script. In October, on CBS’ “Limitless” an anti-government militia had a plan to bomb New York, and on ABC’s “Blindspot” a Michigan militia becomes the episode plot.
Gainor says Hollywood is trying to downplay global terrorism and blame the right.
“What liberal writers and producers are trying to do is downplay the threat of external terrorism and blame terror acts on scary right-wingers,” he said. “If they wanted examples of violence here in the U.S., they only need look for lefty protesters who have been attacking opponents with increasing frequency and violence.”
Some viewers took to social media expressing their thoughts on the episode.
— Debbie Schlussel (@DebbieSchlussel) May 2, 2016
“Isn’t that what they said before they attacked? ‘Make America Great again’?” OMG the shade 😂😂 #Quantico
— Kristy (@purplestarkatz) May 2, 2016
Hahah #Quantico I see you “Make America Great Again” taking your little jabs at Donald Trump
— TV Talk (@TVTalkChats) May 2, 2016
PR professional Ryan McCormick also says the episode went too far.
“Any show that depicts individuals engaging in and perpetuating violence as a direct result from support of some of Donald Trump’s popular ideas or even some progressive liberal ideas is a clear yet, subtle and tactical method of fighting those ideas,” he said.
ABC did not return FOX411’s request for comment.