Gender equality in the entertainment industry has been an ongoing war in Hollywood. The discourse around it gained more attention after the #MeToo movement and now many production houses are looking into it. However, Bollywood stays alienated from this topic for one reason or the other. But now as King Khan has spoken up about it, there aren’t any corners left to hide and avoid talking about the pay gap in our own backyard.
In an interview with Economic Times, Shah Rukh Khan shed light on how the fees differs between male and female actors. He said that,
“It’s a male-dominated industry. You can’t shirk it away or ignore it. I would love it to be different. There should be no disparity. A male actor and a female actor should get the same fees – why is it different, I don’t know.”
Shah Rukh Khan has been in the industry for nearly 30 years now. Which means that he’s speaking from experience. And what he’s saying makes sense. If a female actor has a central role in a movie, why should she be paid less than male actors who play similar central characters?
However, that wasn’t all. Shah Rukh also discussed about the exorbitant fees that some actors end up charging, which sometimes might hamper the movie.
“But I would also add that no actor-male or female-should over-estimate their performance. No individual – be it director or actor – should burden the film’s expense by charging an amount that goes beyond the performance of the film’s opening weekend.”
A film is a collaborative effort and not a one-person job. Yes, the actor is the face of the movie but that face isn’t the only thing that is making the movie. So, what they charge also affects the rest of the cast and crew because it hikes up the need for a greater profit. And since any movie’s success or failure is a 50-50 scenario, actors should be sensitive about it.
Shah Rukh Khan has a gigantic fan-base and they were glad to see him talking about an issue that’s universal and needs rectification.
1. That’s fairly self-explanatory.
First they should give same length roles as male actors . Don’t just emphasize on same fee. And if the movie is female dominant then of course they should pay females even more . Yeh nahi k 2 songs kero aur equal salary ki demand kero .
— R (@Rani_i) August 27, 2018
2. People are glad to hear that.
Shah Rukh Khan is the most loved star in India and in rest of the world .
He is know for his work and His Respect for Women's and we all agree to him for his opinion #SRKOnEqualPay
— SRK Warriors Club (@TeamSRKWarriors) August 28, 2018
3. Damn straight!
4. Everyone should be paid what they deserve.
I agreed with king khan he always show respect regardin womens n i totally agree female actress also deserve the equally paid… they also work hard n faces more challengs fo being female
— mina (@mina_pinky) August 28, 2018
5. Finally, somebody explained it for the people in the back.
Its crazy I have to explain this but here it is- they're demanding for equal pay b/w people doing the same job irrespective of gender. They don't want a driver to be paid like a CEO. They want a lead female actress to get the same as her male counterpart #wagegap #GenderPayGap https://t.co/xFCHs2x3Y8
— laissez unfair (@diyachordia) August 28, 2018
6. It’s the only way power should be used.
It's sad that this has to be demanded and fought for and is not just common sense!
With great power and influence comes great responsibility and I'm glad it's being used well. https://t.co/lhSBdbnKg1
— Disha Shah (@Dishfishh) August 29, 2018
7. There’s no denying that.
This man keeps winning hearts. https://t.co/bt07JK7vLR
— 𝑆𝑅³⁴ (@ffsshad) August 29, 2018
8. The need to say it was paramount.
You know on surface he didn't say anything ground breaking (also untill it comes to be executed in real life, which is imp) BUT the fact is he is one of the very few male actors to have actually publicly said it https://t.co/ZDAMJo3TV9
— Being Second (@vedant123) August 28, 2018
9. Practice what ye preach.
Let's hope this starts with the next SRK or a @RedChilliesEnt movie in which the female lead not only gets paid equally but also has an equally important role. #TalkingIsNotEnough https://t.co/LL9j2y2TUW
— LR (@read_mytweet_) August 27, 2018
Female actors like Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma have repeatedly spoken about the gender-based pay gap in Bollywood. Divya Dutta has revealed details about the added harassment that comes with being a female actor in the industry. And now their fight has gotten the support of Shah Rukh Khan. It’s crazy to think that in 2018, we haven’t yet made a system that promotes equal pay. But as that’s the reality we are living in, it’s better to stop thinking and start changing it.