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Amid debate on Made in Heaven episode, writer Alankrita Shrivastava claims she met author Yashica Dutt after episode was shot

Yashica Dutt, the author of Coming Out as Dalit, took to her social media handles recently and said that the makers of Made in Heaven have “deployed the might of the entire indie Bollywood to distort” her “narrative” where she demanded to be credited by them in the Amazon Prime Video show. This comes a day after filmmaker Anurag Kashyap said that Yashica was “looking for validation.” Yashica had previously said that the makers used parts of her life to build the episode starring Radhika Apte, where she played an anti-caste activist, but never credited her for the same.

Now, in a new statement, Yashica has said that the makers have orchestrated a “coordinated attack of mass reporting my social media accounts to get them banned” and launched a “misogynistic hate campaign” from a “handful of Dalits.” Yashica claimed that the show’s co-writer, filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava, came to meet her in 2022 and asked her detailed questions about her life but did not reveal that she was using Yashica’s life for research. “Was it not ‘misleading’ when Alankrita Shrivastav, the writer and director of Made in Heaven, who also co-signed the condescending statement, requested a meeting with me in New York on July 15, 2022 that lasted five hours?” Yashica said that she never met Neeraj Ghaywan, who directed the episode, but alleged that Alankrita “took the words out of my mouth and put them on screen.”

Later, Alankrita shared on X (formerly Twitter) that they shot the episode in 2021 and she met with Yashica in 2022, implying that she did not use her life as an inspiration. “The Pallavi Menke story was shot in October 2021. I went to New York in July 2022,” she wrote.

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After Yashica demanded credit, the show’s makers issued a statement saying that they “categorically deny any claim that Ms. Dutt’s life or work was appropriated by us.” Yashica called this a “denigrating, hostile statement that not only contradicts what Neeraj Ghaywan posted on his Instagram post but also attempts to openly discredit my work.”

She appreciated Neeraj’s work and said that he was being used by the “savarna filmmakers” and “accountable in public for their blatant theft.” “I have immense respect for Neeraj Ghaywan’s struggle to make his space within these savarna power structures. But I never met him or told him my story. I met Alankrita Shrivastava. Now the same savarna power structures are pitting us against each other while making Ghaywan be accountable in public for their blatant theft. I hope this moment is a lesson that our stories are not for taking without credit or permission. This theft of Dalit labor ends now,” she wrote.

Also Read | Yashica Dutt and Made in Heaven: When moral right is not copyright

Yashica’s statement comes a day after filmmaker Anurag Kashyap said that Yashica was “looking for validation.” He told Bollywood Hungama, “You are not really concerned about the issue because then you can’t be two-sided. You are attacking this guy (Neeraj Ghaywan),” he said and added, “When you become larger than your fight that is a massive problem and it will emerge in the future. You made it about you, that’s the problem.”

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Made in Heaven has been co-created by filmmakers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti.

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