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Exclusive | Zoya Akhtar responds to trolls calling The Archies 'too white': Don’t we have fair-skinned Indians?

Updated on: 23 June,2023 01:24 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Zoya Akhtar responded to the trolling The Archies was subjected to when the film's first look was released, in an exclusive conversation with Mid-Day

Exclusive | Zoya Akhtar responds to trolls calling The Archies 'too white': Don’t we have fair-skinned Indians?

The lead cast of The Archies

Zoya Akhtar’s The Archies is one of the most anticipated films this year, all thanks to its unique subject, treatment and a brand new cast full of fresh faces. There is also the obvious trolling online that the film has been through, because of its lead cast, that is essentially Bollywood’s homegrown next-gen, although the rest are from outside the film industry as well. 

The other kind of barbs the film has attracted is something that Akhtar also faced before the release of Dil Dhadakne Do - that it was too much about stinking rich people! 

Mid-day's Mayank Shekhar met Zoya Akhtar at the Netflix Tudum event in Sao Paolo. Asked if she has kept an eye on all the trolling that ensued when the first look of The Archies was released, Zoya said, “I don’t know if (the trolling) is about my films. It’s about all films now. Everyone gets trolled!” We mentioned one funny tweet that had said, “Zoya Akhtar has finally made something that we always wanted to be - white people.” 

Zoya responded, “Well, they are all Indians (on the screen), this is kind of reverse. Are you saying fair [skinned] people aren’t Indians? How do we define what an Indian looks like? It could be Hrithik Roshan. It could be Mr Rajinikanth, Diljit Dosanjh, or Mary Kom. That’s the beauty of India.”

That the film’s first teaser premiered at Tudum, where the cast - Yuvraj Menda, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja, Aditi Saigal, Khushi Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan, and grandson Agastya Nanda – put up a small performance for the fans.

When asked if she also has to double up as a guardian while travelling with them so far from home, Zoya said, “This is not the Von Trapp family, I am not their governess, where I have seven kids like in The Sound of Music, no. The Netflix team is taking care of them. They are young adults, the crew is here, it is a professional setup. They don’t need nannies.”

Her directorial filmography includes Luck By Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Gully Boy. This is the first time Zoya is working with a lead cast which has never been on screen before.

Watch the full interview here:

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