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Oscars face ongoing criticism over “Naatu Naatu” performance

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The 95th Oscars
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

A week after airing, the 95th Academy Awards are continuing to come under scrutiny from critics, specifically for their handling (and casting) of a much-anticipated performance of hit song “Naatu Naatu” from international film sensation RRR. As reported in pieces by Variety, The L.A. Times, IndieWire, and more, the performance of “Naatu Naatu” has come under fire for including exactly zero dancers of South Asian descent, despite coming from a film by Indian filmmakers, about Indian history, and informed heavily by the styles of Indian music.

It wasn’t initially supposed to be this way; Oscars producers actually approached the film’s stars, N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, to reprise their high-energy dance battle from the 2022 film. But both men declined, apparently uncomfortable with the short window of time they’d have to master the Oscars version of the dance. So…

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