New Delhi: A new Levi's video commercial, directed by Nadia Marquard Otzen featuring Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone, has landed in an embarrassing situation. The video shows Deepika entering a set and dancing to the tunes of 'Auva-Auva', the 1982 hit number sung by Bappi Lahiri and Usha Uthup.
The video has already garnered over 5.6 million views on YouTube alone and the comment section is full of praise for the song as well as for Deepika Padukone.
All about the controversy:
The controversy, however, concerns the set where Deepika is seen grooving on the song. Photographer and filmmaker Sooni Taraporevala on Tuesday claimed the set used in the video was extremely similar to the one she had created for her film 'Yeh Ballet'.
In a long Instagram post, with photographs of the set from her film and Levi's advertisement, Taraporevala lambasted the makers of the set, calling it an intellectual theft.
In a long post on Instagram, Taraporevala wrote, “A couple of days ago @cindy_jourdain brought this @levis_in ad to my attention. I was shocked to see our Yeh Ballet dance studio set in this ad, because it was conceptualized & created out of a derelict space by Shailaja Sharma @shalzoid (our PD) from scratch and dismantled after our shoot. Basically @nadiaeye (the director of this ad) saw Yeh Ballet and decided to plagiarize our set down to the very last detail (swipe for screenshot). Would Levi's and the director ever think of doing that in the west without permission / acknowledgment, and passing it off as their own creative work? This is not homage, this is intellectual theft! It's SO unfair to our wonderful production designer @shalzoid to have her work ripped off like that. (sic)”
She added, “Copycat culture in India needs to be called out and cancelled. You would think a foreign production company and director would know better. Are you so creatively bankrupt? What were you thinking?" she even added in her post that," PS. contrary to what clickbait news headlines say, this has nothing to do with Deepika Padukone or anyone else in the cast. (sic)”
Along with her post, Sooni Taraporevala shared pictures of the set in question from the film 'Yeh Ballet'. She also added a screenshot wherein production designer Rupin Suchak can be seen agreeing to using the dance studio as an inspiration for the set of the new Levi's ad.
Directed by Sooni Taraporevala, 'Yeh Ballet' is a Netflix original film which was released last year. The film was produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur.