Shabana Azmi, Hema Malini on govt asking senior artists to stay home: ‘Will they ensure no leader above 65 attends political rallies’
Shabana Azmi, Hema Malini, Paresh Rawal request government to change the SOPs suggesting artists above the age of 65 should not be allowed on sets even as film and TV shoots resume.Updated: Jul 11, 2020 13:04 IST
Actors Hema Malini, Shabana Azmi and Paresh Rawal have sought amendment to the SOPs for film shooting and urged government to reconsider the rules as work resumed in showbiz. The statements come days after senior actor Kanwaljit Singh spoke publicly about his angst over being replaced by a younger actor in TV show Sandwich.
A Mid Day report quoted Shabana as saying, “A small portion of Vikas Khanna’s untitled film has yet to be shot. What happens to these projects? Why should producers have to sign on younger artistes and make them sport grey hair? Why is this rule applied only to the film industry, and not politicians? Will they ensure that no leader above 65 will attend any political rally. They (technicians and artists involved in filmmaking) don’t run parallel businesses whereby they can make up their losses.” It added that Hema Malini has written a letter to home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla. Citing the examples of Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher and herself, Hema has said in the letter that these senior artistes “will be restricted from completing their previous and recurring projects.”
Admitting that the measure has been introduced to ensure safety of the senior artistes, Paresh also told the tabloid that producers should ensure that sets have all the necessary safety measures.”
An angry KanwaljIt Singh had said he was not happy with the decision to keep senior actors out of work right now and added, “So what do actors like me do? Hang up our boots? How can I be asked NOT to work? I have nothing against the new actor or the channel. But this rule needs to be changed. Otherwise, what will the hundreds of actors like me do? We are fond of working, we love our work, how can the government stop us? Will the authorities wake up when one senior actor, in depression for being out of work, commits suicide? Not every senior actor or unit member is well placed enough to tide over these difficult times by simply sitting at home, not working. Most of them need to work, some for financial reasons, others for the sheer love of work.”
All shootings had been stalled for almost three months since the lockdown was announced in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. The government issued guidelines and SOPs to resume shoot May 31 onwards, when the lockdown ended. However, shootings for a few TV shoots began only by June end as producers needed to ensure all safety measures, precautions in place, including medical cover for all members on sets.
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