Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday’s Khaali Peeli is off to a rocky start. After garnering 1.7 million dislikes on its official teaser amid anti-nepotism wave, it’s first song ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’ has been flagged down on social media for being racist. From memes apologizing Beyonce to slamming Khaali Peeli makers for green lighting such a song, Beyonce Sharma Jayegi has undoubtedly emerged as one of the most controversial songs of this year.

Filmmaker Maqbool Khan on Monday told a news portal he wants to apologise to anyone who is offended without any hesitation or excuses. He assured everyone that the lyric in question was never intended to be racial. He tried to explain that the term ‘goriya’ has been so often in Indian songs to address a girl that it didn’t occur to them that it would be interpreted in the literal sense.

He added that the comparison with Beyonce was simply meant to suggest that a street-smart guy is flattering a girl by saying that her dancing skills or performance is worth comparing to Beyonce. In this sense, the makers have tried to show Beyonce as the final word, the epitome of talent, beauty, performance, style and attitude. “We are all huge fans, and there was never any question of disrespect,” he concluded.

Lyricist Kumaar also added in that Goriya as a word has been used in many Hindi songs. The makers simply wanted to use it as a synonym for a girl. They did not mean to derogate anyone. They revere the beauty of global celebrity Beyoncé and don’t mean to hurt any of her fans.

Khaali Peeli is slated for a digital release on October 2 and will premiere on ZeePlex.