This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Amitabh Bachchan dropped a bomb by saying he had been paid less than Deepika Padukone in Piku. He also went on to say it proved his market has fallen and he was no longer that saleable. This could be Mr. B's habitual sardonicism at work. But for those eager to pay him less than he deserves, his words can easily be taken at their face value.
I remember when Black was being planned Mr. Bachchan volunteered to do the film for free, as Black was planned as a small arthouse film. It eventually went on to make loads of money. No one thought of offering him even a token amount in retrospect.
Such is the response to humility when it comes to financial matters in the entertainment industry. Shockingly, director Shoojit Sircar known for his unique approach to actors acting and storytelling also agreed that it was perfectly legitimate to pay the heroine in Piku more money if it was a heroine-oriented film.
First, is Piku really a heroine-oriented film? Who was the central character in Piku? Deepika or Amitabh Bachchan who played her father?
Presuming that Deepika had a more substantial role than Mr. Bachchan in Piku, by that logic why was it not okay to pay heroines much less than the heroes all these years, as the women have traditionally taken the backseat in our films and have almost invariable been assigned much less significant footage than the men in our films?
We've been screaming about pay parity in Bollywood. So why is it such a matter of gender pride now if the heroine gets paid more than the hero?
Are you saying, Shoojit, that women are more equal than men? That's not pay parity. It's inequality in reverse.
And here's why Mr Bachchan should definitely be paid more than Deepika Padukone.
Because he has been the reigning superstar for 40 years whereas she has just begun. To even suggest she should get more money than Mr B is inconceivable…Unless we are not really looking at pay parity. Men and women are equal. But some women are more equal than men?