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Priyanka Chopra Leaps to Defence of ‘The White Tiger’ Director Against Racist Comments

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has often described in interviews her own experiences of growing up in America and how she was subjected to racist comments while at high school, with people calling her “curry” and “brownie”, among other names.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas, star of the recently released film sensation The White Tiger, has said that America was “built on the back of immigrants in search of a life of freedom, opportunity and a safe place not only for themselves but for their families”, after the film’s Oscar-nominated director, Ramin Bahrani, was treated to an attack of racism in the US, according to a report on People.com on Monday.

“Asking me about my thoughts on what happened to Ramin is a sign of where we stand today, and the work we have to continue to do. So my question in turn is – who belongs here, and who doesn’t? Isn’t America a melting pot of all people from all backgrounds? This country was built on the back of immigrants in search of the American dream, a life of freedom, opportunity, and a safe place not only for themselves but for their families,” Chopra Jonas said.

The former Miss World added that although what Hollywood produces is embraced by the world, the world is not always embraced by Hollywood.

“This is about how common it is for many communities to live with incidents like this happening all the time. Content by Hollywood is embraced by the world, but the world is not always embraced by Hollywood. Hollywood and pop culture, in general, have a massive responsibility in this fight for racial equality and representation in global entertainment,” Chopra Jonas said.

Bahrani is an American-Iranian, born and brought up in North Carolina. The director was recently in Atlanta, Georgia directing a TV pilot in a residential neighborhood with a south Asian colleague when a bystander shouted: “You all think you run the world, you don’t run sh*t! Go back to your own country.”

The director was on a video call, doing a Zoom Q&A with Ava DuVernay, the executive producer of Netflix’s The White Tiger when the incident, which “saddened” DuVernay, occurred.

“Ramin was very calm, very matter of fact – which saddened me. It was as if he was used to that type of treatment. Being the ultimate professional, he suggested we proceed with the interview”, DuVernay said.   

She added that “enduring and negotiating” racism, xenophobia and sexism was the daily lot of coloured people in Hollywood.

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