Director Sooni Taraporevala accuses Levi’s of plagiarism in their ad featuring Deepika Padukone
Film director Sooni Taraporevala has accused denim brand Levi’s and ad director Nadia Marquard Otzen of plagiarism, saying their most recent advertisement featuring Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone has the same dance studio set as the one that appeared on the film Yeh Ballet, directed by Sooni.
Sooni explained the reason behind her accusations of plagiarism and intellectual theft and said the studio set for her own film had actually been created out of a derelict space by Shailaja Sharma from scratch and dismantled after their shoot was done.
Check out the post here:
Taking to Instagram, Sooni posted a long note that read, “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.”
She also asked whether Nadia was “creatively bankrupt”, and commented, “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?”
Furthermore, Rupin Suchak, who was the production designer for the advertisement, had reportedly admitted that Nadia had asked him to create a similar set-up for their ad. In response to a comment on Instagram, Rupin had written, “Yes we did (emoji) in fact that’s what our director wanted so we had to recreate that.”
However, following Sooni’s post, actor Deepika Padukone, who has been featured in the ad, began to face severe backlash from netizens. Seeing this, Sooni later clarified on the same Instagram post with a postscript that the issue had nothing to do with the actor or others in the cast.
She wrote, “PS. contrary to what clickbait news headlines say, this has nothing to do with Deepika Padukone or anyone else in the cast.”