For one of the world’s largest entertainment industries, Bollywood has certainly been doing more infuriating than entertaining in the past few months. Aside from the sordid headlines on news channels about suicide, nepotism, and drugs, Bollywood has also been making a mess of the things that should be easy, like releasing a trailer or new film that the audience loves (looking at you, Sadak 2). Another major flub released yesterday, the song “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi” from the upcoming Khaali Peeli, annoying social media users with its absolutely tone-deaf lyrics. Many Indian fans of Beyonce Knowles even posted apologies to the international superstar for her name being sullied by the ill-conceived lyrics.
I want to apologise to @Beyonce from Bollywood. I am too embarrassed for the industry to put up the reason why, but Bollywood is being sent to the naughty corner to think long and hard about it's #BeyonceSharma stupidness.#AnanyaPanday #KhaaliPeeli
— Asjad Nazir (@asjadnazir) September 7, 2020
The offending line in the song comes during the hook, where the male lead tells his female counterpart, “Tujhe dekh ke goriya, Beyonce sharma jayegi”. Now that the song has been released with those lyrics and is on the internet, we should all take a moment of silence for the lyricists Kumaar and Raj Shekhar, who did not see the irony of comparing Beyonce Knowles, a proud and successful Black woman, with a girl whose most remarkable quality is the fairness of her skin in their song.
How do they not realise “Tujhe dekh ke goriya, Beyonce sharma jaegi” is a very racist thing to say? How can you pen lyrics that use fairness as an adjective while comparing to a black woman? How are we still having this conversation in 2020?
— RJ Ira (@irationalised) September 7, 2020
Naturally, people weren’t as oblivious to the inherent colourism in the song’s lyrics as its makers hoped, and “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi” is currently staring down the barrel of a dismal likes-to-dislikes ratio as the dislikes have reached 232k while there are only 41k likes. After the debacle that was the release of the Sadak 2 trailer, and now the widespread rejection of “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi”, it appears that YouTube is not as hospitable to Bollywood content as it used to be.
Bollywood celebs stood up for #BlackLivesMatter but when it comes to their own industry, they have the audacity to release 'Beyonce Sharma Jaegi' with racist and sexist lyrics ''Oh tujhe dekh ke goriya Beyonce sharma jayegi''. When will you move past your fair skin obsession?
— Anandita🏳️🌈 (@devilsxblessing) September 7, 2020
It’s not the warm reception that Zee Music would have been expecting from the audience for its latest song, but they forgot that it’s 2020, and people are tired of the same colourism and ignorance mainstream Bollywood tries to pass off as entertainment.