Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s decision to put the name of his female co-stars before his own in the credits of his upcoming films has got mixed reactions from the industry, even as his next leading lady is thrilled about it. SRK intends to start this with his upcoming film Chennai Express, co-starring Deepika Padukone.
“Small thoughts bring about big changes. It’s a wonderful initiative, not to prove that women are more powerful than men, but to create awareness that men and women are equal in all fields and professions. Shah Rukh has always believed woman are equal ... not only in the way he interacts with us but also in his films.
I’ve experienced that first hand with Om Shanti Om, and now on Chennai Express, and I believe this gesture of his is an extension of that. Thank you Shah,” says Deepika.
Many others, too, feel this is a great step. Actor Gulshan Grover says, “I love SRK for saying this. Don’t know about other stars and filmmakers, but when I have an opportunity, I would do this too.” Trade analyst Taran Adarsh seconds that. “If a woman’s name comes first, it shows respect, and second, it quashes the priority that men get.
At times, women are a bigger brand than men and there should not be any second thoughts in giving them importance,” he says.
While Pritish Nandy calls it a “clever move” that will “enlarge his already substantial female admirers,” some others feel there is much more to be done for women in the industry than their credit before a male star’s. “I feel there is no need to be gender-biased in the credits of a film. The decision should be based on who the protagonist is, and the seniority. More than talking about this, the need is to give importance to how women are portrayed in those same films,” says acclaimed filmmaker, Onir.
Filmmaker Ekta Kapoor suggests, “Shah Rukh should see that female actors get paid as much too.”