“Would Levi’s and the director ever think of doing that in the west without permission?”: Deepika Padukone caught in plagiarism row


Filmmaker Sooni Taraporevala has alleged that the new Levi’s ad featuring Deepika Padukone had plagiarised the set design of her film Yeh Ballet. In a hard-hitting outburst, Taraporevala asked if ‘Levi’s and the director ever think of doing that in the west without permission?’

Sharing the images to prove her allegations of plagiarism, Taraporevala 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. No such dance studio exists in Mumbai which is why we built it.”

She added that the director of Levi’s ad had simply decided to copy her set design after watching the film Yeh Ballet. “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 wrote.

In the Levi’s ad, Deepika could be seen dancing to the song Auva Auva song from the 1982 film, Disco Dancer, in her Levi’s jeans. Curiously, the dance set is exactly the same as designed in Yeh Ballet. 

In one of the screenshots shared by Taraporevala, a social media user was seen asking Rupin Suchak, who designed the set for Levi’s advertisement, if he had copied the set design of Yeh Ballet. Suchak replied, “That’s what our director wanted so we had to recreate that.”

Taraporevala said that ‘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? @levis_in @nadiaeye @offroadfilms rupinsuchak @newland.tv,” she concluded.

She, however, clarified that her outbursts had nothing to do with Deepika. “PS. contrary to what clickbait news headlines say, this has nothing to do with Deepika Padukone or anyone else in the cast,” she concluded.