The gender wage gap is a no big secret in Indian cinema that has found many deniers. When an actress voices about it, they are reminded of every time a female-centric film did not become a 100-crore hit. Box office numbers are thrown at actresses as justification, causing many actresses to back down and settle for less, for lack of choice.
However, this seems to be changing now, as many established actresses who have the option of turning down projects are standing up for themselves and not settling for less than what they feel they are worth.
Of late, the female-centric movies like ‘Padmaavat’, ‘Raazi’, ‘Manikarnika’ have collected more than Rs 100 crores at the box-office and the demand for equal pay is on the rise again.
Reacting on the same, actress Pooja Hegde says it’s very sad to see the actresses get paid far less than the heroes despite equal efforts.
She also emphasizes that gone are the days when only heroes used to pull the crowds and female-centric films have been drawing the crowd and collecting hundreds of crores.
“But now, if you look at the trend that’s going on female-driven films are doing very well,” Pooja told PTI, citing Raazi and Veere Di Wedding as examples.
“They (female-driven films) are all doing really well. So, I am hoping that now that the women are also pulling in 100-crore films… I think they are going to get paid as much as the men,” she said.
“But we need more female producers also to help us out here…something that has to be a collective effort (to achieve wage parity),” Pooja added.
She also said that producers have been observing this change and the equations would change eventually. On the work front, Pooja Hegde is busy with ‘Housefull4’ in Hindi and ‘Maharshi’ in Telugu.