There has been much talk about the disparity in pay cheques that male and female actors draw in Bollywood. In fact, a host of A-list female actors have been vocal about how poorly they are paid in comparison to their male counterparts, even though they put in as much effort in the film. However, actor Salman Khan, who also produces films, doesn’t seem to agree. The 49-year-old feels that this whole discussion is “bulls**t talk”.
“The question is, who is pulling those people into a theatre?” asks Khan, adding, “If a female star is getting those many people and the producer is making money, the exhibitor and distributor are all making money, then obviously they (female actors) will get that much money ... but if it’s a male star, then he will get it.”
The actor also points out that there are many male actors who are earning less than many female actors, and that’s solely because of the influence they command at the box office. “There are so many male stars who get a lot less than many female stars ... there are male stars in the Rs 1 to 3 crore bracket, and there are lots of female stars in the Rs 5 to 7 crore bracket ... that’s also there, right? Uske bare mein koi kyun nahi bolta? So this whole female ­stars-male stars debate is bulls**t. Whoever is selling, and as much he or she is selling, will get that much,” says Khan in his signature candid style.
Stressing on the fact that the pay that each actor draws is fair, Khan says that with the corporatisation of the film business, the worth of a star is not guesswork anymore. “Today, there are managers who monitor everything, the business is very clear. So whoever brings return on investment gets that much money. Simple!” he says.