Kalki Koechlin: Gender disparity in Bollywood is not an opinion, it’s a fact

Actor Kalki Koechlin slams Bollywood for its patriarchal outlook, saying that there’s no doubt that the film industry is male-dominated. But she admits that the business model might be the reason for it.

bollywood Updated: Sep 05, 2017 17:00 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Bollywood,Kalki Koechlin,Jia aur Jia
Actor Kalki Koechlin will be seen next in Jia aur Jia, co-starring Richa Chadha. (Photo: Praveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Film industries across the globe are often accused of being male-dominated. Several female stars have spoken out against issues such as pay gap (disparity in the fees of male and female stars for roles with similar weightage) and non-recognition of the female lead’s contribution to a film’s success. In this context, Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin feels it’s high time that people accepted the existence of “gender discrimination” in the film industry.

“I am sorry, it’s not an opinion. It’s a fact that the film industry is male-dominated. You can’t have any arguments about that,” says the 33-year-old actor. However, Kalki adds that she understands the circumstances leading to this male dominance. “It’s true that things are a bit complicated. Filmmaking is a business model, and you can’t expect to be paid equally just on the basis of your sex,” she says. This is a reference to the fact that most major male actors are the chief draw in any regular Hindi film, though that’s changing now in films driven by content rather than star power.

Kalki continues, “[The] success of films like Piku (2015) or Queen (2013) does point to the fact that women, too, can carry films forward, and that films with female protagonists also do good business and bring in good amounts of money. If that happens, then women have every right to ask to be paid as [much as] the male counterparts.”

The actor, who will soon be seen in Jia aur Jia, co-starring Richa Chadha, insists that she’s not a pessimist and is hoping things would change. “The solution to this entire thing is to have more content,” says Kalki. “For a female actor, the role should be much more than [being] just an addition to the hero’s plot. That’s happening. With more and more woman writers and directors coming into the industry, that stance is changing, and you won’t see films that talk about the male gaze only.”

Follow @htshowbiz for more

First Published: Sep 05, 2017 16:59 IST