Beyonce song's lyrics changed

After facing a huge backlash over the "Beyonce sharma jayegi" song, the makers of the upcoming Bollywood film Khaali Peeli have altered the controversial hook line of the recently launched track.

The new hook line is "Duniya sharma jayegi".

The song, featuring Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday, was unveiled a few days ago. Within minutes, critics were trolling the peppy dance number over the lyrics, which many found "racist" and "cringe-worthy".

The line deemed offensive was "Tujhe dekh ke goriya, Beyonce sharma jayegi". The word "goriya" literally means a fair woman - and American singer, dancer and actress Beyonce is of African-American origin.

Many of her Indian fans thought the song was a racist slur.

Because the filmmakers had not sought permission from the singer to use her trademarked name, they first changed the spelling in the song from "Beyonce" to "Beyonse".

Later, they changed the song's refrain to "Watching you, oh fair-skinned girl, the world will be ashamed".

"We have made the film to entertain audiences and not to offend or hurt anyone," said the film's director Maqbool Khan.

"Since our lyrical arrangement did not go well with a few people, we thought, keeping the essence the same, why not change the song a little bit?"

He added: "We want to apologise to anyone offended. We assure you that the lyrics in question were never intended racially.

"In fact, the term 'goriya' has been so often and traditionally used in Indian songs to address a girl that it didn't occur to any of us to interpret it in the literal manner.

"Also the comparison to Beyonce was simply meant to be a street-smart guy flattering a girl who is trying to impress that her dancing and performance are worth comparing to Beyonce, whom we all see as the final word, the epitome of talent, beauty, performance, style and attitude. We are all huge fans, and there was never any question of disrespect."

The song, composed by Vishal and Shekhar, is sung by Neeti Mohan and Nakash Aziz.

The lyrics were penned by Raj Shekhar and Kumaar, who said: "Goriya as a word has been used in many Hindi songs earlier. Our idea was to simply use a synonym for 'girl'.

"There was no derogation intended - we revere the beauty of the global celebrity Beyonce and didn't mean to hurt any of her fans."

Several Bollywood songs over the decades have glorified light skin, which is considered an attractive feature in movies where a hero falls for a heroine.

In a song called Chittiyan Kalaiyaan or "Light-Skinned Wrists", the woman dances to a song asking the man to take her shopping and to the movies because she's light-skinned.

Another song called Dil Dance Maare Re blatantly starts with "Seeing a white face, my heart beats faster".

In the 1990s, the hit song Kala Chashma or "Black Shades" was about the singer's admiration for a woman and how great black shades looked on her fair skin.

It was recently remixed and proved wildly popular.

Indo-Asian News Service

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