Actors deserve respect and shouldn’t be treated like cattle: Divyanka Tripathi
The Yeh Hai Mohabbatein actor Divyanka Tripathi feels newcomers and senior actors are not treated with dignity on the sets of TV shows.tv Updated: Jun 27, 2017 18:14 IST
On April 6, Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya tweeted, “Are character or new artists slaves? Why are they ill treated on television sets? Jaago #CINTAA Jaago (sic)!” The actor, who has never minced her words, feels strongly about the treatment actors receive on the sets. “Newcomers and established actors are often not treated well on the sets. Is it just because these actors are not as popular as the lead actors of the show? Norms, rules and work ethics are not followed on the sets of TV shows. I was subject to this even when I began my career,” says Divyanka, who adds that actors are considered “labourers”, and get their day off on Labour Day (May 1).
She wished that there were stipulated number of working hours for actors, including the waiting hours. Divyanka says, “Most importantly, actors deserve respect and shouldn’t be treated like cattle. I have seen senior character actors being treated badly because they play a small role. When I began my career, I’ve shared a room with six people, with one sofa that had bedbugs and dirty loos. When I spoke about it, people thought I was throwing a tantrum. I wasn’t given enough time to eat lunch as a newcomer and sadly, lack of hygiene still persists in the industry. Although I am respected, I take up for other character actors who don’t receive that kind of respect. But, a lot of people don’t like that. I try to help them as much as possible. I hope we provide basic facilities to the (lesser known) actors. Also, I am not contesting for Cine & TV Artists Association, contrary to what people think.
She also strongly feels about the lack of royalty clause in contracts, which would “take care of the retirement of many actors”. “It exists in the West, but not here. We are given a nominal sum, even though our shows are aired across the world. Also, actors pay a huge amount of taxes. I wish the government uses a fraction of the amount to provide retirement funds to actors. When a forgotten actor dies in squalor, we tweet about it and express sadness but unfortunately, no one fights for their rights.”