The debate over fair vs dark skin in Bollywood has raged for the last few years.
Abhay Deol recently said why he would never promote fairness creams. Last year Priyanka Chopra in an interview with The Guardian said that she regretted endorsing a fairness cream. When asked if she wished she had lighter skin, the actress had replied, “It really works on your psyche, man. We don’t realise it, but it does.
I was the darkest, so in jest my family called me kaali (black girl), and I never really understood how much that affected me until I was a teenager.”
And yet today, in a shocking turn of events, in a scene from her second Marathi production, Kaay Re Rascalaa, directed by I Giridharan, a nasty dig at dark skin is taken!
Says a source, “Priyanka is a role model for many young girls and yet, in her home production, she appears to be propagating racism. There’s a scene in the Kaay Re Rascalaa trailer where the heroine’s (Vaiju) mother excitedly tells her husband, “Vaiju aani Mutthu (a South Indian boy who wants to marry her daughter) chi jodi ekdum superhit! (Vaijuand Mutthu’s pair is a super hit). The father replies, “Arre apni Vaiju kitti gori (Our Vaiju is so fair) toh (Mutthu) kitti kaala… Do hansa lagna zala na, toh jhhebra janma le ayei (if they marry only a zebra will be born). It’s shocking that the film is releasing this Friday (July 14) and nobody has noticed this scene till now. One hopes that there’s an explanation for this later in the film or maybe a scene which takes it up as a cause as one doesn’t expect an international star of Priyanka’s caliber to propagate such things through her films.”
Kaay Re Rascalaa is a comedy which blends Maharashtrian and South Indian cultures and stars Supriya Pathare, Gaurav Ghatnekar, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi, Akshar Kothari and Bhagyashree Mothe among others.
Nandita Das first took up the fight against fair vs white skin which is rather obvious in the film industry and became activist for the Dark Is Beautiful campaign against racism. Tannishtha Chatterjee walked out of a comedy roast show as the hosts kept poking fun on her skin tones.