Rajamouli, Jr NTR, and Ram Charan contribute $75K to Oscars’ producers’ earnings.
The song ‘Naatu Naatu’ from the movie ‘RRR’ made history by becoming the first Indian and Asian song to win an Oscar award. The team led by director S.S. Rajamouli was ecstatic about the achievement. However, it came at a significant cost. While music composer M.M. Keeravani, his wife Srivalli, lyricist Chandrabose, and singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava were entitled to free seating at their allotted table as nominees, other members of the ‘RRR’ team had to buy tickets to attend the event. Each ticket cost $25,000 (Rs 20.6 lakh).
The ‘RRR’ team members present at the 95th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 13 included Rajamouli with his family, NTR Jr, Ram Charan and his wife Upasana Kamineni, and choreographer Prem Rakshith. Indian fans were upset to learn that the team was seated at the rear close to the exit during the ceremony. They expressed their displeasure on social media.
Although ‘Naatu Naatu’ won the prestigious award, its on-stage performance during the ceremony without any dancer of Indian descent sparked controversy. Dancers of South Asian origin were outraged that Billy Mustapha and Jason Glover, both Americans but not of South Asian descent, had replaced Junior NTR and Ram Charan, while choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha adapted Rakshith’s original choreography.
Junior NTR and Ram Charan were expected to perform on stage but reportedly backed out due to multiple reasons, including their limited time to rehearse and other professional commitments.
‘Naatu Naatu’ beat other nominated songs such as ‘Applause’ from ‘Tell It Like a Woman,’ which featured Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandes, Lady Gaga’s ‘Hold My Hand,’ Rihanna’s ‘Lift Me Up,’ and ‘This Is A Life’ by Son Lux, Mitski, and David Byrne.