The debate over pay disparity in Bollywood is quite old. Actresses like Anushka Sharma, Taapsee Pannu and Priyanka Chopra have often talked about not getting paid equally in the Hindi film industry. Kareena Kapoor Khan even rejected Kal Ho Na Na as she wanted to get paid as much as her male counterparts. While many actors, including Shah Rukh Khan, have spoken on the matter and believe that women do not get their due credit in the industry. But there’s another side to the story that Aamir Khan rightly pointed out once.
During the promotion of Talaash: The Hunt Begins, Aamir, along with his co-stars Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor Khan, attended an interview where he gave his two cents about gender pay disparity in Bollywood.
As per Mr Perfectionist, it’s not about gender but about capabilities. Aamir Khan clearly stated during the interview that artists should be paid according to their box office collection. He said, “See, in films, the fact of the matter is that your fee is connected to your ability to fill the theatre. Yes, heroines work very hard, but so do cameramen, and so do the light-boys on the set, all of us should be paid equally.” The host quickly asked, “You are comparing the heroine with a light-boy?”
Aamir Khan calmly responded no, and continued, “I’m comparing the heroine, the light-boy and myself. All of us are working hard, I’m working hard, and so is the light-boy. Why is he paid differently than me? It’s not because he’s a man or a woman, you are confusing the issue there. If I’m paid Rs 10, it is because I can bring back that money and more. If Rani (sitting next to him) can fill in more seats than I can, 101 per cent, she will be paid more than me. The market forces and makes sure that she gets paid more than I do.”
The Dangal actor continued, “It has nothing to do with your sex as a female or a male. It is your ability to pull people in.” The host asked Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor whether they agreed, and the former chipped in and said yes, “I absolutely agree because I think this is the only logic, actually.” Aamir continued, “Cinema is one field where corruption doesn’t work. I cannot bribe people and say, ‘come, see my film.’” The video clip from the interview has resurfaced on Instagram.
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Let us know if you agree with Aamir Khan’s logic. For more such news, stay tuned to Koimoi.