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After being slammed for Made In Heaven, Zoya Akhtar has THIS to say about showing 'positive' Muslim characters on-screen

Filmmakers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti have been embroiled in controversies since the release of the new season of their Amazon Prime Video web series Made in Heaven

After being slammed for Made In Heaven, Zoya Akhtar has THIS to say about showing 'positive' Muslim characters on-screen
Zoya Akhtar

Last Updated: 02.16 PM, Aug 18, 2023


The second season of Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s eagerly awaited web series Made in Heaven has been embroiled in controversial since its release on August 10. After author Yashica Dutt asked for her due credit in the episode directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and ace designer Tarun Tahiliani accused the show of “violating the understanding behind the provision of clothing”, netizens now question the filmmaker on her portrayal of Muslims characters on-screen.

An Instagram had questioned the filmmaker about showing “normal” Muslim characters in her show. The user posted, “Zoya can you show normal Muslim character in your shows. One positive story that is not oppressed.” The user hinted at Made in Heaven Season 2’s Episode 5, titled The Warrior Princess, which addresses the issue of polygamy. Dia Mirza who plays the role of a Muslim woman whose husband is getting married for the second time while still being married to her, attempts suicide on the day of her husband’s second marriage.

Zoya Akhtar replying to the Instagram user
Zoya Akhtar replying to the Instagram user

Replying to the Instagram user, Zoya listed a number of positive Muslim characters from her projects. She wrote, “Zaffar Khan and Tanveer in Luck By Chance. Imran and Laila in ZNMD. Farah Ali in Dil Dhadakne Do. Practically everyone in Gully Boy. Sarfaraz Khan and Leila Shirazi, Kabir, Faiza and Nawab in Made In Heaven.”

The user, however, was not convinced by her answer and replied, “Faiza is beaten by her husband and oppressed by her father. Gully Boy showed how they live in ghettos and are wife beaters and marry younger 2nd wives, Farah Ali was also not supported by her parents and I had no idea Kabir was Muslim lmao. Like just show a normal nonconservative Muslim family.”

Made In Heaven Season 2 stars Shashank Arora as the photographer and filmmaker Kabir Basrai, Kalki Koechlin as a pregnant girlfriend of a married man, Vikrant Massey as Nawab Khan, while Pulkit Samrat and Elnaaz Norouzi play Bollywood actors Sarfaraz Khan and Leila Shirazi.

The other Muslim characters that Zoya listed were Imran, an advertising copywriter played by Farhan Akhtar and Katrina Kaif as the scuba instructor Laila in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. While Anushka Sharma played the dancer Farah Ali in Dil Dhadakne Do. Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt famously played Muslim characters in Gully Boy. Ranveer is an aspiring rapper in the film, while Alia is his ferocious girlfriend. Hrithik Roshan and Ashish Sawhny played Zaffar Khan and Tanveer in Luck by Chance, respectively.

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