The word ‘goriya’ was taken out of context: Ishaan Khatter on racist allegations against his ‘Khaali Peeli’ song ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’

Ishaan Khatter, whose upcoming film Khaali Peeli opposite Ananya Panday faced a major controversy and severe backlash for its song Beyonce Sharma Jayegi, said that the meaning was taken out of context. Netizens called the song out for its supposedly racist lyrics as it compared a ‘goriya’ (a fair skinned girl) to Beyonce, who is African-American. The song’s lyrics have now been changed to Duniya Sharma Jayegi.

Talking about the controversy and the subsequent flak, Ishaan told an online portal, “The word ‘gori’ has been taken out of context, as I understand it. I have asked a lot of questions to people from rural areas, who’ve clarified that ‘gori’ has been used in multiple songs, for ages, as just referencing a girl. Like you’d say ‘launda’ or ‘chhora’, you also say ‘gori’, and that is the context in which it was used.”

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He further added, “It was never meant to be about the complexion, let alone race. As for Beyonce, for this ‘tapori’ character, his biggest reference for somebody beautiful, and stylish and iconic is Beyonce. If anything, it’s flattering."

The song’s title was first changed to Beyonse Sharma Jayegi to avoid any legal hassles as Beyonce has trademarked her name but finally the track was changed to Duniya Sharma Jayegi. It is composed by Vishal-Shekhar, sung by Nakash Aziz and Neeti Mohan, featuring lyrics by Kumaar and Raj Shekhar.

Khaali Peeli has been directed by Maqbool Khan and produced by Ali Abbas Zafar and Himanshu Mehra. While the story is by Maqbool, the film is written by Yash Kesarwani and Seema Aggarwal. The film is scheduled to premiere on Zee Plex and ZEE5 on October 2, 2020.

(Source: Film Companion)