The fight for equal rights for women has lasted centuries and decades, but it has yet to be won. The patriarchal system could not prevent women from progressing, but it did ensure that women were always paid less than males.
In Bollywood, the income disparity between men and women is a dirty little secret. When women speak up about it, they are reminded of every time a female-centric film has failed to reach the 100 crore mark. As a rationale, box office numbers are thrown at actresses, prompting many young women to back down and settle for less because they don’t have an option.
In terms of how women are portrayed in Bollywood films, there has been a considerable change. Actresses aren’t only glamour dolls anymore. While they have shown that they are equal to males in the field when it comes to work, female performers still have a salary disadvantage.
Here’s a list of Bollywood actresses who have spoken out about the gender pay disparity.
Deepika was recently making headlines because reports said that she stepped out of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Baiju Bawra as she was asked to settle down for less pay that what was offered to Ranveer Singh.
Deepika Padukone did not hesitate to speak out against the salary gap.
Even earlier, in an interview with Filmfare, the actress said, “Everyone knows who’s getting paid how much and why so. I’m not delusional when it comes to that. I’m also aware of how much I deliver vis-à-vis the Khans, vis-à-vis the newer boys like Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, or Varun Dhawan. I know where I stand. I’m also aware of the production costs.”
“I don’t want a penny if the money is going to the film. But I’ll not settle for being paid less because they need to compensate for the male actor. If you’re going to say that don’t charge so much because we want Ranbir Kapoor in the film and we’ve got to pay him, then I’m not okay with it. I’ll then demand an equal amount.”
Anushka Sharma has built a name for herself in Bollywood as both an actor and a producer. Her production company has recently been putting out some interesting content. She, like many others, did not hesitate to speak out about the gender pay disparity that female performers experienced at work.
Anushka Sharma, in her column published in Economic Times, wrote, “Women are not treated equally. Women have an equal stake in work and society. In fact, in many cases, we are even more influential than men. And yet, women are not treated equally.”
Priyanka Chopra’s acting career has progressed in leaps and bounds. The actress has already established herself as a global star who is expected to speak out on important subjects.
Talking about this global inequality, PeeCee told ANI, “I think the gender pay gap is a global problem. It exists in every profession, be it Hollywood, Bollywood, or the business sector where males are paid more than females. I feel it’s a big problem and is not just confined to the film industry. My appearance on the top 10 list Forbes 100 celebrity list highlights the same problem.”
Kangana Ranaut is a woman who wears her personality on her sleeve. Not only did the actress speak up about pay disparities between male and female actors, but she also called out women who did not.
At a media conference, Kangana said, “I have heard successful women from the film industry say things like ‘we don’t deserve equal pay because heroes get bigger openings’”. If you don’t feel empowered, nobody can make you feel empowered. You have to feel like an equal. God has given me a pancreas, kidney, heart and eyes. I am not inferior to others. If you don’t feel empowered no court can make you feel empowered. Half the battle is lost when you feel undeserving.”
Sonam Kapoor made waves by speaking out against the gender wage gap on a famous chat show hosted by Karan Johar. She said, ” I think it is about time, as women, as actors, as artists that we get our due.”
Kareena Kapoor Khan:
Kareena Kapoor has worked in the entertainment industry for more than a decade and has experienced and overcome a variety of challenges, including being stereotyped and being paid less than her male co-stars. Kareena broached the issue of pay parity on one of her chat shows, “What Women Want,” and questioned actor Anil Kapoor whether the income discrepancy between leading men and women should be addressed by the industry.
Taapsee remarked in an interview with The National Bulletin that if a female actor demands for extra money, she is labelled as “difficult and problematic.” If a man, on the other hand, does the same, “it is a sign of his success.” She also stated that audiences do not value female-driven films as highly as male-driven blockbusters. As a result, films with female protagonists have lower box office collections.