It seems like only yesterday that Ishaan Khatter posted a black square for #BlackOutTuesday in solidarity of BLM. However, the disappointing reality is that yesterday, Zee Music released a song called “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi.” It’s from the upcoming movie Khaali Peeli, starring Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday. And Twitter was not putting up with the song’s subtle racism and colorism.
The lyrics that really triggered people were Tujhe dekh ke goriya Beyonce sharma jayegi. This translates to “Your fair skin will make Beyonce shy/embarrassed.” I don’t know about Beyonce, but Indians are definitely feeling second hand embarrassment after listening to this song. The fact that goriya and Beyonce were sung in the same breath doesn’t sit well with anyone. Further, the fact that both Panday and Khatter are also products of nepotism certainly doesn’t help their case either. The song currently has 325k dislikes on YouTube, far exceeding the 48k likes it received.
This song depicts how normalized colorism is in our society. Even when Fair & Lovely changes its name to Glow & Lovely, the colorist product at its core is still a skin lightening cream. Likewise, even when actors preach racial equality, they profit off of colorist and racist music videos and ads.
Brown Skin Girl:
In 2019, Beyonce released a song called “Brown Skin Girl” about feeling empowered with having dark skin. This song’s MV also included an Indian girl with a dark complexion. So the fact that “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi” dared to take a dig at the skin color of a woman who’s been so inclusive in her journey of brown girl empowerment is truly embarrassing to Indians, who’ve been apologizing to Beyonce on Twitter.
“Beyonce Sharma Jayegi” is written by Kumaar and Raj Shekhar, composed by Vishal-Shekhar, and sung by Nakash Aziz and Neeti Mohan. Apart from Panday and Khatter, these people have also been getting flak for their association with the song.
Khaali Peeli will undergo a digital release on October 2nd, 2020, on Zee Plex. The movie is about two outlaws on the run from the police. Khaali Peeli is directed by Maqbool Khan and produced by Zee Studios, Ali Zafar, and Himanshu Mehra.