Deepika ad YouTube-1614758376646
Deepika Padukone in the commercial for a popular clothing brand. Image Credit: YouTube screenshot

A popular commercial for jeans featuring top Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone is being accused of plagiarism for its striking similarity to a film set.

Sooni Taraporevala, director of ‘Yeh Ballet’, took to her Instagram to reveal the resemblance between the widely-adored advertisement and her 2019 film streaming on Netflix now, about two young boys from Mumbai being picked to become top ballet champions.

But she cautioned that her complaint has nothing to do with Padukone, and that her issue was about her intellectual property rights.

“I was shocked to see our ‘Yeh Ballet’ dance studio set in this ad because it was conceptualised & created out of a derelict space by Shailaja Sharma @shalzoid (our PD) from scratch and dismantled after our shoot. No such dance studio exists in Mumbai which is why we built it. Basically, @nadiaeye (the director of this ad) saw Yeh Ballet and decided to plagiarise our set down to the very last detail (swipe for screenshot),” Taraporevala wrote. “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 that the ‘copycat culture’ in India should not be tolerated.

“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?... PS. contrary to what clickbait news headlines say, this has nothing to do with Deepika Padukone or anyone else in the cast,” she added.

Set designer Suchak, who earlier designed Alia Bhatt and Sonakshi Sinha’s spaces, claimed that he was just following his ad director’s brief to the last detail. In an earlier exchange on social media, Suchak admitted that his ad director wanted them to recreate the ‘Yeh Ballet’ set.

In the advertisement, Padukone is seen dancing in a studio.