Deepika Padukone recently opened up about pay parity in the Hindi film industry, and how she has been demanding equal pay for equal work. The Chhapaak actor was speaking at the launch of The Dot That Went For A Walk. The book is about 51 real women heroes and has one chapter on Padukone.
The actor said, “Today in films, there is no lack of opportunity. The kind of films and the place of a woman in these films have changed a lot. And, of course, the pay. I would like to speak for myself. I have been able to bridge the gap, in terms of what my male contemporaries get paid versus what I am getting paid.”
Deepika Padukone, who turned 33 a few days ago, recalled a recent incident where she refused to be part of a film as she was offered less remuneration only to accommodate the male lead.
She said, “There was a recent incident where a director offered us a film that creatively I liked. But then it came to talking about money, and I said that this is what I would charge. Then it kind of went back and forth. He came back and told me that he wouldn’t be able to afford me as he had to accommodate the male (lead). So, then I said ‘tata- good bye’ as I know my track record. I know my worth. I know that his films haven’t been doing as well as my films have. So, it made absolutely no sense. I was okay to say no to that film based on pay because I thought it was unfair.”
Deepika further explained why she was taking these steps and rejecting films where she was expected to contribute equally as her male co-star, but not paid equally for it.
“Today, I am ready to take those steps, measures or decisions for myself because I am going to be able to sleep peacefully at night. I don’t think I would be able to live with the thought that despite the same kind of creative contribution as my male co-star, and bringing in the same kind of value to the film as him, I am being underpaid. I was not okay with that,” Deepika Padukone said.