A new commercial for denim brand Levi’s, featuring Deepika Padukone, had gone viral. Now, however, the ad has run into controversy with accusation that the backdrop used in the ad has been plagiarised. Sooni Tarporevala, director of Netflix film Yeh Ballet, slammed the ad’s team for recreating the studio setup that was conceptualised and created for her film.
In a long post on Instagram, Sooni 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. 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 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?”
According to a report by the Times of India, the production designer for the advertisement Rupin Suchak has admitted that he was asked to create a similar set-up.