Actor Ishaan Khatter has said that a large number of people have formed opinions approximately the Khaali Peeli song controversy ‘out of context’. A song from the movie, prior to now titled Beyonce Sharma Jayegi, was once put under the highlight for lyrics that many claimed had racist undertones.
Ishaan said that while he hasn’t met the lyricists personally, he can vouch for the truth that not one of the filmmakers ‘have a racist bone in their body’. Beyonce Sharma Jayegi, composed by Vishal-Shekhar, sung by Nakash Aziz and Neeti Mohan, featuring lyrics by Kumaar and Raj Shekhar, has undergone two title changes on account of the backlash. It was once first rechristened to Beyonse Sharma Jayegi, and then to Duniya Sharma Jayegi. ‘Goriya’ literally translates to ‘fair-skinned girl’.
“The word ‘gori’ has been taken out of context, as I are aware of it,” Ishaan said in an interview to Movie Companion. He added, “I have asked a large number of questions to people from rural areas, who’ve elucidated that ‘gori’ has been used in a couple of songs, for ages, as just referencing a girl. Like you’d say ‘launda’ or ‘chhora’, you also say ‘gori’, and that’s the context in which it was once used.”
He continued, “It was once never meant to be approximately the complexion, let alone race. As for Beyonce, for this ‘tapori’ character, his biggest reference for somebody beautiful, and stylish and iconic is Beyonce. Whether anything, it’s flattering. That’s why he goes as far as even to compare this girl he’s trying to woo to Beyonce, because he’s trying to flatter her.”
Ishaan admitted that he’s glad that this has allowed for a conversation around things such as ‘colourism and racism’, as ‘these are important things to talk about’. But, he added, it’s also important to take things in context.
Also read: Khaali Peeli director says Beyonce Sharma Jayegi not racist: ‘Goriya has been used in Indian songs to address a girl’
In the past, director Maqbool Khan had said in a remark, “First, without any hesitation or excuses we wish to apologise to anyone offended. We assure you that the lyric in question was once never intended racially. In truth, the term ‘goriya’ has been so incessantly and traditionally used in Indian songs to address a girl, that it didn’t arise to any of us to interpret it in the literal manner. Also the comparison with Beyonce is simply meant to be a street-smart guy flattering a girl who is attempting to impress that her dancing/performance is worth comparing to even Beyonce who we all see as the last word, the epitome of talent, beauty, performance, style and attitude. We are all immense fans, and there was once never any question of disrespect.”
Khaali Peeli, also featuring Ananya Panday, is slated for an October 2 release on the newly launched Zee Plex pay-per-view service. Ishaan can be seen in Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy, expected to release on Netflix late October.
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