Deepika Padukone's latest advertisement for a popular denim brand has stirred a controversy after filmmaker Sooni Taraporevala claimed that the backdrop of the commercial is similar to that of her critically acclaimed Netflix film Yeh Ballet.
Taraporevala blasted the makers of Deepika's advertisement in a long post on her Instagram page. She accused them of intellectual theft. She said that the director of the ad saw Yeh Ballet and used the same set without any acknowledgement, passing it off as their very own creative work.
The filmmaker 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. No such dance studio exists in Mumbai which is why we built it. 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 / acknowledgement, 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."
She further 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? @levis_in @nadiaeye @offroadfilms @rupinsuchak @newland.tv PS. contrary to what clickbait news headlines say, this has nothing to do with Deepika Padukone or anyone else in the cast."
See her post.
When a netizen pointed out the similarities between the setup of Deepika's ad and Yeh Ballet, the ad's production designer, Rupin Suchak admitted that Sooni's film was indeed a part of the brief which was given to them. The Instagram user wrote, "That's exactly like the studio in the film Yeh Ballet, did you guys shoot there?" Rupin's reply to him read, "Yes we did :) in fact that's what our director wanted so we had to recreate that."
Meanwhile, the denim brand is yet to react to Sooni Taraporevala's allegations.