Although many female actors such as Anushka Sharma have spoken about disparity in payment on the basis of gender in Bollywood, actor Neetu Chandra says that not many are in a position to let go of projects because of this.
“Letting go of projects because of inequality of payments is not something everyone can do. There are very few who can do that. It is a fact that we have male-dominated scripts in Bollywood. Male actors are paid more and are given a preference when it comes to dates. I guess this is because they are required to put in more effort. Slowly, with female-centric films coming up and doing well, this situation might change,” says Neetu, who was part of a discussion based on gender equality at the UN last month.
The situation persists not only in Bollywood, but everywhere, says Neetu, adding that women are not respected as much as men in the work space. “I was shooting for this Greek film, where we would often have meetings, where we were meant to have open discussions. But soon I realised that no one would listen to me or take my ideas seriously. In the beginning, I thought that they are not listening to me because they can’t understand the language, but later I realised that they were more interested in staring at me! It was then that I turned around and snapped, ‘If you are done, can we start working here,” she says.
“I have worked a lot to get into shape and that is something that I am proud of. But I feel, it’s also important to go beyond how a heroine looks,” she adds.