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‘RRR’ Distributor Calls Out Twitter for Not Allowing Ads in Telugu: ‘So You’re Blocking Us?’ (Updated)

Variance Films took to Twitter to complain that it couldn't post clips of "Naatu Naatu" because the song isn't performed in an approved language.

Two men in early 1900s dress shirts and suspenders performing an energetic dance outside; still from "RRR"


Variance Films

Update February 17: Variance Films revealed that the issue has been resolved, tweeting “Thank you to Twitter for unblocking our ads, let the paid Naatu-ing resume!”

Another day, another problem for Twitter under the patronage of Elon Musk.

The social media site has come under fire from Variance Films, the distributor behind S.S. Rajamouli’s Tollywood blockbuster “RRR.” The film is currently in the final stretch of an Oscar campaign for “Naatu Naatu,” its musical number that received a nod for Best Original Song. IndieWire’s Marcus Jones currently has the song, which was written by Kaala Bhairava, M.M. Keeravani, and Rahul Sipligunj, listed as the frontrunner to win the Academy Award.

With voting closing in a matter of weeks and many movie fans trying to catch up on films they missed from last year, Variance is attempting to pull out all the stops by advertising “RRR” as much as possible. But the company claims that it is unable to feature clips of “Naatu Naatu” in Twitter ads because the scene is performed in Telugu, which is not one of Twitter’s approved languages.

“We’d like to advertise our Academy Award nominated film ‘RRR,'” Variance’s official Twitter account wrote in a tweet tagging Elon Musk and Twitter Support. “But Telugu, spoken by over 81 million people, isn’t an ‘approved language’ for ads, so you’ve blocked us from advertising entirely for trying to promote a subtitled clip? Is that correct?”

A Variance Films representative declined to comment further.

The Twitter dustup isn’t the first language-related issue that “RRR” has run into. While the film was shot in Rajamouli’s native Telugu, the version that was released theatrically around the globe was dubbed in Hindi. In an interview with IndieWire’s Eric Kohn, the director explained that he understood the necessity to release the film in a more widely spoken language.

“No, because I directed it,” Rajamouli said when asked if he was bothered by the decision to dub the film. “I checked each and every line to make sure that the essence of the language is coming through. I checked it so many times. We spent so much time getting it right. Of course having it come out in my own language would have been nice, but that doesn’t take anything away from the dub.”

“RRR” is now streaming on Netflix.

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