Taapsee Pannu doesn't shy away from speaking up for herself, and in this case for her fellow female actors.
Taapsee recently stood up for Kareena Kapoor Khan, when she was trolled for demanding a fee of Rs 12 crore for playing Sita in Alaukik Desai’s period film. Taapsee, in an interview spoke up about how a male actor's pay is considered to be directly proportionate to his success, and a female actor's pay is brushed under the rug.
If it would have been a man in that position who would have asked for that much amount, people would have said, ‘Iski market badh gayi hai'. That guy has really achieved big success in life.’ It's because a woman who is asking for it she is called out to be ‘difficult’ or ‘too demanding’. It's always like that. You will always read about this issue about hike in salary when it comes to women. But why not? She is one of the biggest female superstars we have in the country. If she commands a certain salary for her time, it’s her job. Do you think any other mythological characters that are played by men, do you think they do it for free? I don’t think so
- Taapsee Pannu to Bollywood Bubble
In addition to this, she also highlighted the huge bias that rules Bollywood - the obvious pay disparity between male and female actors in the industry.
In an interview with The National Bulletin, she spoke about how the pay gap only gets higher as you progress as a star and being successful always doesn't equal being paid what you deserve.
If a female actor asks more, she is termed difficult and problematic and if a man asks more it’s a mark of his success. Difference is, the men who started with me earn 3-5 times more than what I do. And the gap keeps increasing as we go in higher star category.
- Taapsee Pannu
Taapsee also highlighted that majority of the problem lies with the audience, especially when it comes to female-centric films.
Even now we struggle with budgets. Everyone hears that since it’s a female-driven film, budgets will have to be slashed and that’s because our returns are always unfair in comparison to our male counterparts. And audience is a big reason behind that.
- Taapsee Pannu
According to stats, male actors in Bollywood earn five times the amount female actors do, regardless of the films in most cases. Actors like Taapsee, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut are addressing the deep rooted problem in Bollywood and it is high time filmmakers begin changing their perception.