During a recent interview with a comedy group called East India Comedy, Taapsee Pannu talked about the vicious cycle that goes on between consumers and content. It’s simple—when people do not watch movies that star female protagonists as their lead, then they do not perform well at the box office. And, because of that, actresses do not get paid as much as their male counterparts. This leads to them doing movies that do not have strong roles. Well, it makes a lot of sense and we have to say, breaking this pattern does not seem like an easy job. While there has been progress, we know that Bollywood still has a long way to go.
Sadly, the wage gap is not a new concept in Bollywood. Several actresses including Bhumi Padnekar and Anushka Sharma have opened up about the same in the past. Recently, Sonam Kapoor-Ahuja also shared her experience with the same and the way she dealt with it.
During a recent interview with a leading daily, the Neerja actress revealed that she had lost projects in the past because she demanded just pay. She said, “The pay gap is ridiculous. I can stand up to it, but then I don’t get those roles, and I’m okay with that. I can afford to do that. I realised over the past two or three years that I have no right to judge anybody. I’m privileged, so making difficult choices isn’t really f**king difficult.”
TBH, there’s a reason why we have an entire ongoing debate on nepotism but it’s always nice when actors acknowledge their privilege. And yes, it’s equally shocking that when it comes to the wage gap, even those actresses who are considered as ‘insiders’ in Bollywood, go through such terrible situations.
Recently, Taapsee also shared her take on the wage gap and said, “If a female actor asks more, she is termed difficult and problematic and if a man asks more it’s a mark of his success. Difference is, the men who started with me earn 3-5 times more than what I do. And the gap keeps increasing as we go in higher star category.”
Well, I don’t know who needs to hear this but we’re in 2021 now. It’s time when Bollywood start giving us more movies with strong female leads and we as an audience, appreciate their effort and content. While there’s still a long way to go, movies like Sherni and Manikarnika defs give us hope that this sad situation will change soon.
Feature Image: Instagram