Female actors from the tinsel town are increasingly coming out and taking a stand on the crucial issue of Bollywood’s Gender-Based Pay Gap. In a new, Neerja actor Sonam Kapoor rejected a movie due to “disrespectful offer”.
“Recently I was offered a project, which I was excited for, but the money being paid was s***. I made a call and said, ‘this is very disrespectful’. There was shock on the other side. I told them, ‘you put me in a position after being in the industry for ten years and giving the most profitable film ‘Neerja‘ last year. So please tell me why is it that this is what you decided to give me’,” Sonam said in a PTI interview.
“They were like ‘Our last film with so and so star didn’t do well so we don’t have that much money.’ I was like, because of this xyz star whose film didn’t do well, the one person whose film actually did very well you want to underpay me to pay this ‘star’ more? I told them to move on and get someone else as frankly it was very disheartening,” she added.
Kapoor took a bold stand and rightly so, why should she suffer because another actor’s movie didn’t do well? Producers and directors give all sorts of explanations for not paying the female protagonist equal to a male protagonist. The fact is a film requires both actors to do well to make the numbers at the box office.
I made a call and said, ‘this is very disrespectful’. There was shock on the other side. I told them, ‘you put me in a position after being in the industry for ten years and giving the most profitable film ‘Neerja’ last year. So please tell me why is it that this is what you decided to give me’” Sonam Kapoor
This debate on Gender-based pay disparity has been going on in Bollywood for quite some time now as much as it is going on in other industries around the globe. But what is quite refreshing is that more and more female actors are addressing it now. In his recent book ‘An Unsuitable Boy’, Karan Johar revealed why he didn’t cast Kareena Kapoor in Kal Ho Na Ho in 2003. Kapoor had quoted an equal fee as the male lead Shah Rukh Khan. Johar later took Preity Zinta in her place.
Swara Bhaskar in a recent event also addressed the same issue of the gender-based pay gap. She said that while women should ask for pay parity but their roles are smaller in comparison to male actors. This renders them incapable of asserting their position and ask for equal pay. She explained that if a female actor is working on a film for 50 days and a male actor is working for 150 days in the same film then the producers pay them accordingly. The Nil Battey Sannata actor noted that what we should ask for is bigger and more meaningful roles for women in movies.
Picture credit- Indian Express