A new denim brand advertisement starring Deepika Padukone has been accused of plagiarism. It has been claimed that the backdrop of the new Levi’s ad, featuring the actress, is similar to that of Netflix film Yeh Ballet. The film’s director Sooni Taraporevala posted a long note on Instagram, saying she was shocked to see the same studio set up in the ad.
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?”
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The production designer for the advertisement Rupin Suchak has admitted that he was asked to create a similar set-up, reported ETimes. In response to a comment on Instagram, Rupin said that he was told by the Levi’s ad director Nadia Marquard Otzen to make it that way. He wrote, “Yes we did 🙂 in fact that’s what our director wanted so we had to recreate that.”