When Patricia Arquette, who won the Oscars for actress in the Best Supporting Role for Boyhood, took her “bad ass mom” screen persona to another level by insisting on wage equality in the industry during the Oscars on Sunday night, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez almost fell off their chairs.
She said, “To every woman who gave birth to every tax payer and citizen in this nation: We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality in the US.” Celebrities in India seem to agree with Arquette.
Nimrat Kaur, actress:
“Personally, I haven’t experienced wage inequality since I am new to the industry and I think I do get a fair remuneration. But I do know of women who get a lower wage even if they are as experienced or as senior as their male counterparts. I think it is unfair and women do need to get together to fight this inequality. Women are working just as hard and are just as competent for the same job. Why then should they accept lower wages or compensation for the exact same job?”
Komal Nahta, trade expert:
“Yes, the difference in terms of wages paid is definitely there, but it is most glaring when it comes to actresses. When you look at certain fields such as choreography or make up artistes, there is not much difference, but actresses are paid much less than their male counterparts.
If I were to capture it in a phrase, then I would say the situation is ‘Hum Saat Saath Hain’, which is basically reflective of the situation wherein a top-tier heroine makes Rs 7 crore (saat) while the highest-paid hero makes Rs 60 crore (saath).
“The reason for this is partly our country’s audience who most of the time decide whether to go for a particular movie or not based on the hero and the movies too are mostly hero centric. So it is highly unlikely that this will change.
“While Katrina or Deepika might have been in the industry for a long time, even newcomers such as Sidharth (Malhotra) or Varun (Dhawan) have already reached where they are in terms of pay.”
Shriya Saran, actress:
“I agree it’s a male dominated industry, but when women aren’t even paid 20 per cent of the men’s salary, you know it’s unfair. Very few international stars such as Angelina Jolie can command something on equal terms… this has to change and will but only with constant dialogue and spreading of awareness.”
Raveena Tandon, Actress:
“There is a huge disparity, but it’s not so much in terms of wages, but in terms of who’s going to rule the roost. If you take the ’90s, actresses would be doing about 30 films to make up for what their male counterparts are making.
But there is also the fact that the credit or the discredit for a film usually rides on the hero’s shoulders. While a film that has flopped can ruin a hero’s career, the heroine goes scot-free… A good sign is that the new generation is moving forward.
They aren’t letting everyone take things for granted. This is because of the increasing trend of heroine centric movies. I think slowly but surely the scenario will change.”
Saying it with numbers:
Hrithik Roshan earns Rs 25 crore per film. His Bang Bang co-star Katrina Kaif earns Rs 6 crore. Surprisingly, both charge similar amounts for appearances: Hrithik Rs 1.5 crore and Katrina Rs 1 crore. For performances at weddings and other events, Katrina commands a fee of Rs 2.5 crore, while Hrithik reportedly gets Rs 2 crore.
Anushka Sharma gets Rs 6 crore a film while Ranveer Singh, who entered the films later, gets Rs 10 crore.
Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone reportedly command a Rs 8 crore fee.
Priyanka Chopra takes home Rs 7 crore. In contrast, Ranbir Kapoor charges Rs 20 crore. He also charges a reported Rs 2 crore fee per appearance, whereas Priyanka and Deepika both charge Rs 1 crore, while Kareena charges Rs 80 lakh.