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A Bollywood song referring to Beyoncé has its lyrics changed after backlash over colorism

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

An upcoming Bollywood movie drew sparked public outrage over colorism for a song that refers to Beyoncé, causing the filmmakers to change the lyrics.

(CNN)In an upcoming Bollywood film called "Khaali Peeli," there's dancing, music and a song with a controversial chorus: "When you dance, watching you, oh fair-skinned girl, Beyoncé will be ashamed. "

The lyrics have sparked outrage over colorism, which is discrimination based on the color of someone's skin, and forced filmmakers to change the lyrics for a second time.

Because the film had not sought permission from the singer to use her trademarked name, the song first changed its spelling from "Beyoncé" to "Beyonse. " However, after criticism that the lyrics are racist, the song's refrain will change to say, "Watching you, oh fair-skinned girl, the world will be ashamed. "

Bollywood may spare Beyoncé, her skin and her dance moves from its scrutiny, however, the Hindi film industry's obsession with light skin has been long-standing and critics say it promotes color prejudice.

Several songs over decades glorify 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's character dances to a song asking the man to take her shopping and to the movies because she's light-skinned.

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.

A song from the '60s has a man swooning over a fair-skinned woman, asking her to not discount him for his dark skin because he loves her.

The word "goriya" means "light-skinned woman," but it's used in pop culture generally to address women.

Several movies and songs over the past few years have had lyrics changed following backlash.

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