Brie Larson’s new movie has already cooked up quite a bit of controversy among Indian internet users, who aren’t too happy with its portrayal of India.
Twitter users have been dragging the trailer for romance musical “Basmati Blues,” which takes place in India and features Larson, a white actress, as the protagonist.
People bashed the movie for perpetuating Indian stereotypes and casting a white actor in the lead role, reflecting the “white savior” cliche.
— Purnima (@pkompella) November 10, 2017
The project was filmed years ago, but is only slated to open in India later this month, BuzzFeed points out. Larson plays Linda, a scientist whose company sends her to India to sell a genetically modified rice she created. But as more information is revealed about the harmfulness of her product, she decides to fight back against the agricultural company.
Producers Monique Caulfield and Danny Baron released a statement following the deluge of criticism. Though the trailer mentions that Larson’s character “will fight for justice,” the producers said “Basmati Blues” is not about a white hero saving India.
“We deeply regret any offense caused by the Basmati Blues trailer,” Caulfield and Baron said in the statement. “We have heard a number of voices that have understandably reacted to a trailer that is not representative of the film as a whole. Unfortunately, the international trailer has given the wrong impression of the film’s message and heart. This movie is not about an American going abroad to solve India’s problems. At its heart, this film is about two people who reach across cultures, fight against corporate greed, and find love.”
The producers insist the plot of the film in its entirety is respectful of Indian culture. However people across Twitter have already had it with the trailer. Some pointed out how the movie stings, especially considering India’s history of colonialism.
#basmatiblues is a terrible looking film filled with loads of stereotypes about Indians & India. We don’t need another movie about white saviours when we did everything in our power to get white people out of our country. Stop making shit films. Please
— Neha Wanikar (@nehawanikar21) November 9, 2017
#BasmatiBlues trailer made me feel like we r still in colonial India. Trust whites to teach Indians to do anything, right? Coz obviously we r dumb. Well, think again. #culturalappropriation have anyone from the movie crew ever been to India??? #SMHhttps://t.co/02MUv97tZU
— RuMillenial (@Zickey_M) November 10, 2017
Others noted that the film completely exoticizes Indian culture and does not accurately portray the country.
also it's 2017, most of our trains run on electricity which means you can't ride on the roof. and pls retire that trope of spicy food already. we know you can't handle anything of colour. #BasmatiBlues
— Nia C (@sleepyhollowkid) November 10, 2017
This is ridiculous, they've completely ignored the culture of the country. Typical to portray India as about rice, spicy food, poverty, poor English and cringy music. India don't need a White saviour. We're good without them.https://t.co/ZxdCLmyn8n
— Rahul W (@rahulw_) November 9, 2017
Others wondered how, in this day and age, a movie with Indian stereotypes could be released.
This reminds of those SRK movies that some producer shot in the '90s, shelved, & then released five years later when he became A-list.
Why would Brie Larson do this?!https://t.co/sXjpDqyvcb
— Sahil Rizwan (@SahilRiz) November 9, 2017
— Roshni Nayee (@roshnayee) November 9, 2017
And some definitely don’t plan on watching the movie.
me running away from the Basmati Blues trailer as fast as possible. pic.twitter.com/un4c7GqEqW
— mehera bonner (@meherbear) November 9, 2017
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.