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Bollywood Director Claimed Amazon Copied His Gay Sex Scene

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Imitation may be a form of flattery, but uncredited copying is totally uncalled for — especially when it comes to the work of already marginalized and underrepresented creatives. That's the issue Indian filmmaker Onir has with the creators of Amazon Pride Video's acclaimed series Made In Heaven

In a series of tweets, Onir wrote about his response to learning that many aspects of his award-winning, queer-themed 2011 anthology film I Am (including a steamy sex scene in a car) were lifted, nearly shot-for-shot, by the makers of Made In Heaven.

"I was quite taken aback when I saw that so much of that section of I Am was not only there as content, but shot exactly in the same way," he wrote. "But acknowledgment has never been the strength of this industry."

The series, which premiered on Amazon's streaming service in March 2019 and created and written by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti with help from Alankrita Shrivastava, follows the lives of two wedding planners in Delhi and even features the same actor—Arjun Mathur—playing a queer character. 

"It was disheartening that what I had done 8 years before was being cheered and celebrated as path-breaking, conveniently forgetting that it was done years ago through crowdfunding without any platform/studio support," Onir (who is still one of Bollywood's few out, gay directors) later tweeted, highlighting the struggles he faced as an independent, queer creator in the mainstream Indian film industry.

When you compare the two sex scenes (and many other moments) side-by-side, it's hard to deny that there isn't an extreme resemblance between the series and the film. 

"As a member of the LGBTQI community, maybe I was supposed to feel grateful and stay silent," Onir wrote, taking to Instagram to show his followers the similarities between the two projects. "One can have the same theme, but this was even shot exactly the same way...coincidence indeed!!!"

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