Ishaan Khatter, who was most recently seen in Mira Nair’s BBC One miniseries A Suitable Boy (2020), is presently gearing up for the digital premiere of his upcoming film Khaali Peeli. The film, which also stars Ananya Panday in the lead role, marks the directorial debut of Maqbool Khan while successful filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar makes his debut as a producer.
Recently, the makers dropped a song called ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’ from the film. The lyrics of the song did not go down well with a lot of people and they were quick to troll the makers for the undertones of racism in the lyrics. The constant trolling and flak led the makers to change the title of the song twice. While the original title was ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’, the new title is ‘Goriya Sharma Jayegi’. ‘Goriya’ means fair-skinned in Hindi, which many people think is still a racist term to be used in a song.
Reacting to the criticism, Ishaan Khatter says in an interview, “The word ‘gori’ has been taken out of context, as I understand it. I have asked a lot of questions to people from rural areas, who have clarified that ‘gori’ has been used in multiple songs, for ages, as just referencing a girl. Like you’d say ‘launda’ or ‘chhora’, you also say ‘gori’, and that is the context in which it was used.”
He goes on to add, “It was never meant to be about the complexion, let alone race. As for Beyonce, for this ‘tapori’ character, his biggest reference for somebody beautiful, and stylish, and iconic is Beyonce. If anything, it is flattering. That is why he goes so far as even to compare this girl he is trying to woo to Beyonce because he is trying to flatter her.”
The controversial song has been composed by the music composer duo Vishal-Shekhar and sung by Nakash Aziz and Neeti Mohan. Lyrics have been penned by Kumaar and Raj Shekhar.
Khaali Peeli is scheduled to premiere on 2nd October on ZEE Plex.