Women in showbiz have long been overshadowed by their male counterparts. While the debate about their onscreen portrayal has been fruitful, when it comes to their pay scale, it boils down to elements like face value, box office and relevance.
The Free Press Journal spoke to these strong-willed women who have exuded courage to speak about pay disparity in the entertainment arena which is now garnering attention as the industry progresses.
Men and women work equally hard. However, seeing this discrimination happening is very sad. In television, the situation is still better as the industry is women dominated and the actors can get what they deserve. But this is not evident in films. The film industry is still a male-dominated one and unless it is a women-oriented movie then they get paid what they are entitled to but that is much less compared to what the male actors get. This is very strange and I don't understand why this is still prevalent in today's day and age. We are in the 21st century and we just keep talking about change be it on women's day, Mother’s Day, girl’s child day but nothing is happening. Society needs to change and walk towards it together. The Indian mind-set needs to change. I feel an actor's or actress’s performances or popularity can only determine their worth, not their gender and society. Deepshikha is currently seen in Ranju Ki Betiyaan on Dangal TV.
The whole society is patriarchal. Female led films open on a lesser number than male led films which has been changing but slowly. It does need a change everywhere. People need to be paid as per their talent and what they bring to the table and not on the basis of their gender. Jasleen has s has sung popular tracks like “Love You Zindagi” from Dear Zindagi, and “Nachde Ne Saare” from Baar Baar Dekho among others.
Pay disparity is not just in Indian film industry but across the globe, something we all need to fight for. Both men and women work equally hard to make a film success, and yet the women get paid less, which is not respectful enough. Despite women-oriented films doing well at the box office, the budget framed for these films versus those of men in lead have a huge difference. The actor will next be seen in the web series Geisha.
The pay disparity is very evident. I think it almost feels like a woman chosen for a job has to be almost grateful for the position she has received as opposed to it being based on her talent. I guess these times will change if female talent becomes hard to ignore. If you don’t get in the desired result/money at the box office, everyone is replaceable whether male or female.
Unfortunately, the first thing that determines the pay scale of an in front of camera woman is her looks. But luckily for OTT platforms it's becoming more talent based. In all this professionalism also matters. Karishma has choreographed for films like Tumhari Sulu and Veere Di Wedding and was also a judge in the reality show Dance Plus. She is hosting an event "here to slay" on International Women’s Day eve.
Bollywood is quite a fair place when it comes to female actors. An actor gets his/her remuneration based on their market value. The number of ticket sales an actor can get, and depending on the demand one gets paid. If a female actor is more prominent than her male counterpart, she will naturally get paid more. Many a times I have been paid more than my male co-stars, so I can’t complain. But things are changing, there are more women centric roles, hence women do get paid well compared to before. Bidita will next be seen in the action-drama film Fauji Calling.
Equal pay is something which is an extremely debatable topic, but it's not about just getting paid how much your male co-actor is getting. It’s about how much worth your producer and other financer think you are. Even though the conversation gets convoluted sometimes by various factors coming in the picture. The conversation is on the right track just needs to be more fruitful now. So that both the genders are provided equal platform and opportunities. Asheema is best known for her role as Devika "Vicky" Dwivedi in the web series Dev DD.