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The Exotic ‘Other’ in Hollywood

July 11, 2013

Dear Readers,

As you may know, Pitbull has teamed up with former Miss World and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra for new single ‘Exotic’.  For some, Marshall McLuhan’s “global village” may appear closer to a reality in this world.  However, a close reading of the video reveals that the production imagines breaking the world into pieces.

Bollywood is a cultural construct in which the place ‘Bombay’ and its lived experiences often disappear in global formats of productions.  It appears to be changing in unique ways that favour multiculturalism.  At the same time, Bollywood’s global status remains questionable when its actors are social agents of change in a partial manner.

Although Priyanka Chopra’s former Miss World status has been re-inscribed in the narratives (i.e., the song lyrics), her presentation as ‘exotic’ offers opportunities for ‘Othering’ and fragmentation of self while privileging dominant discourses of Hollywood. The irony in her ‘World’ status challenges unity of all. The emphasis on a dominant style, money, and excess as a form of success also disempowers celebrating one’s distinct path in a universal manner.  Artistic journeys and expressions can have different styles while carrying a universal message: we carry one love as a force of life and that is deeply connected to us all.

As a stunning and skilled actor, Priyanka Chopra has more opportunities to be living examples of following a distinct path instead of conforming to simplistic and standardized forms of celebration. Her musical talent is definitely a skill that defines her unique path in Bollywood, where playback singing and lip synch are still a common practice.

Stay tuned for Dr Sonia Tascon’s call for papers in Social Action and Film Festival Activism – coming up next!

With affection,

Samita Nandy

Dr Samita Nandy 
Founding Director Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies
Director of Communication, Nouveau iDEA
PhD Curtin University, Australia (Media)
MA York University, Canada (Communication)
URL: www.samitanandy.com | www.cmc-centre.com

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