Hindu leaders are offended by comparisons between their god Lord Krishna and new X-Men villain Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac.
Film fans got their first glimpse of the similarly blue-coloured baddie when the official trailer dropped on Friday, showing Apocalypse saying: “I have been called many things over many lifetimes - Ra, Krishna, Yahweh.”
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed noted the reference and released a statement arguing that mentioning the god in a movie is hurtful to the many that worship him.
“Such trivialisation of Lord Krishna, who is highly revered in Hinduism, is quite inappropriate and disturbing to the devotees,” it read.
“Lord Krishna was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, not for pushing movies for the mercantile greed of filmmakers.”
Zed has also called upon director Bryan Singer to remove all references to Lord Krishna from both the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer and the film in case they confuse non-Hindus about the religion.
“The inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda is not okay,” he said. “This is another example of the poor use of Hinduism culture in Hollywood.
“I suggest that Hollywood executives take some form of training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they have an understanding of the feelings of audiences and communities when creating new products. We would gladly provide the resources.”
Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, and one of the oldest, with around a billion followers. Lord Krishna, often depicted as blue, is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the subject of several major scriptures.
X-Men: Apocalypse, also starring James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence, is due for UK release on 19 May 2016.