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Sikh Leaders Want Porn Star's Biopic to Change Its Name

Protest has been threatened if “Kaur” is not removed from the title.

by Allison Tierney
18 July 2018, 4:17am

Images via Wikimedia Commons/James Chang; YouTube/ZEE5

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

World-famous former porn performer Sunny Leone is the subject of a new biopic series, Karenjit Kaur - The Untold Story of Sunny Leone—a title that has upset some in the Sikh community.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGOC) spokesperson Daljit Singh Bedi objected to the series' title, India Today reports.

"She changed her religion and cannot use Kaur with her name. It is a very pious suffix given to Sikh women by the Sikh gurus,” he reportedly said. “The person who is not a follower of Sikh religion cannot use Kaur. She should tender a public apology as the title has insulted Sikhs.”

In a July 15 letter condemning the series name, an Indian politician opens: “With extreme regret and anger, I wish to echo the Sikh Sentiments that have been hurt with your go-ahead.” Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the author of the letter, claimed in his writing that the series name was a “bad-tasting publicity stunt.”

The letter was addressed to the head of Essel Group, which controls the TV network airing the series.

“We have no objection to Sunny Leone choosing her profession and getting a biopic made on her life but when has she advanced in this profession under the name Sunny Leone; why is Karnejit [sic.] Kaur name being used as title?”

Sunny Leone, also known as Karenjit Kaur Vohra, was born in Sarnia, Ontario, to Sikh parents who emigrated from India.

Kaur is a name given to Sikh girls. Sirsa described the significance of it in his letter: “Every Sikh girl remains Kaur before and even after marriage.” He also referenced the name being attached to “sentimental value” in Sikhism.

Leone is Canadian-American and is known for her successful porn career in the early 2000s, which included working for Vivid Entertainment and being named Penthouse Pet of the Year in 2003. She retired from porn in 2013.

She also has worked as a Bollywood actress. Her debut Bollywood film was 2012’s Jism 2, an erotic thriller directed by Pooja Bhatt.

In the controversially named biopic series, Leone plays herself. In a promo image for the series, she holds up a sign that says “Guilty of doing it my way.”

Meanwhile, the politician who penned the letter against the title of the series has promised that if the premiere was not halted nor the title changed that they “shall not hesitate from protesting within your office premises against the misuse of the surname Kaur.”

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