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Deepika Padukone’s Levi’s Ad stirs controversy, accused of plagiarism

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Mumbai: Trending Levi’s ad, featuring Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone, got smeared in controversies as director of ‘Yeh Ballet’ Sooni Taraporevala accuses its makers of plagiarism.

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The filmmaker took to his Instagram account on Wednesday to call out the makers of the ad film for stealing his set design from her film Yeh Ballet “to the very last detail”.

“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 (our PD) from scratch,” Sooni Taraporevala wrote on he Instagram, adding, “No such dance studio exists in Mumbai which is why we built it.”

The new controversial Levi’s ad, which has till now garnered more than 5 million views on YouTube, shows actress Deepika Padukone entering a studio and dancing to the tunes of song ‘Auva Auva’ from the 1982 movie ‘Disco Dancer’.

Lashing out at the ad makers for the lack of creativity and taking her set design, Ms Taraporevala, also shared some pictures from her own set design alongside screenshots of the Levi’s ad, on her IG handle. “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),” she wrote, tagging ad director Nadia Marquard Otzen.

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Going a little farther, Ms Taraporevala also posted screenshot of a comment in which designer Rupin Suchak, who created the set for Levi’s advertisement, acknowledged that the similarities were deliberate.

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Suchak had replied to a social media user, who pointed out the similarity between the set used in the ad and the one in ‘Yeh Ballet’. In his reply the Levi’s creative set designer, Mr Suchak said: “That’s what our director wanted so we had to recreate that.”

Disappointed by this desperate intellectual theft, Sooni Taraporevala called out the plagiarism, saying that in the west, Levi’s and the ad director would not have thought of copying another person’s work without acknowledgement.

“This is not homage, this is intellectual theft!” she wrote while adding that “Copycat culture in India needs to be called out and cancelled.”

“Are you so creatively bankrupt? What were you thinking?,” she further lashed out.

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