Writers and lyricists have long persisted in their fight for due credit and more respect from the decision makers in the film industry. In our writers’ roundtable last year, these issues that were discussed at length.

Speaking on how writers are not properly credited in trailers, Saiwyn Quadras, screenwriter of films like Neerja and the recent Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, said, “Sometimes the directors put ‘From the directors of X, Y, Z’ when two films out of the three were horrible films. Why don’t you put the writer’s name on the theatrical trailer where people will see the name or remember the name! At the end of the day, that’s the sort of validation you want. People will know who the writer of the film is.”

Varun Grover, screenwriter and lyricist, spoke about how lyricists’ names are often left out, even in videos of the songs they’ve written. He said, “If you go to YouTube and official channels of music companies putting out songs, they will give the names of the music director and singer in the video. Sometimes they put the name of the actor who is in that ‘song video’. The video description will have the actor’s name, the composer’s and then the singer’s. There is no lyrics writer’s name! Sometimes dhundna padta hai neeche.”

This Sunday, the trailer for Helicopter Eela starring Kajol was released. Grover was quick to point out how the lyricists including Swanand Kirkire weren’t credited in it even though the trailer had extensively used his songs they wrote.

Grover’s tweet seems to have been taken notice of. Ajay Devgn, producer of the film, promptly issued and apology on Twitter and said they would rectify it.

Today, announcing his next film Takht, director and producer Karan Johar tweeted the names of writers Sumit Roy and Hussain Haidry, referring to writers as the “heartbeat and soul of a film”. The focus was as much on them as the film’s A-list cast featuring Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar. After Johar’s gesture, the outpouring of appreciation from the writing community shows how rarely this happens.

Fellow industry members applauded the move from Johar.

Here’s hoping this sets a precedent for the industry to follow.


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