Pay disparity is not an exclusive problem of Indian film industry. In her latest interview with BBC, the new global icon, Priyanka Chopra spills beans on not being paid as equal as the boys do, even in Hollywood. She also talks about whitewashing – a term used in Hollywood regarding the casting of whites even in non-white roles.
Here are the excerpts:
On why the pay disparity is not an industry problem but that of the audience
Yes, I don’t like the fact I get paid much less than the boys, even though I work as hard as them. Yes I don’t like the fact that the disparity is so massive.
But it is a mind-set thing; it is people looking at women differently than boys. Boys are heroes. Girls are heroines but they are not heroes. When you see male actors and the business their films do – I’m talking about India and not America but even like the west is the same – they will make about, you know, $40m or $50m for their films in box office and our films just about touch 10, 15m, I mean female-led films, just a female lead. So when we are able to deliver, when the audience is ready to watch a female led film with a woman on a poster and make it into a $40m film we will get paid for it.
On why whitewashing has got nothing to do with Asians inability to carry a movie on their shoulder
Whitewashing has nothing to do with just Asians, it has to do with every other race out there as well. Global entertainment needs to see representation of all kinds of races; diversity is the need of the hour. And I’m really glad that that representation has started with me on a TV show. There is no precedent of an Indian actor ever, whether it’s TV or movies, playing lead characters. But you have Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Kunal Nayyar there’s so much representation when it comes to South Asian talent that is getting there but yes it will take time to go main stream and people will have to watch it as well.
On being criticized for being insensitive to immigrants and refugees in her travel magazine Cover
The idea was that the t-shirt was against xenophobia against labels that don’t let people live their lives and move around the world, for whatever their reasons are they shouldn’t be living with that label and that was what the magazine was trying to fight. Obviously it came across as insensitive to some people and they gave a statement about and so did I.
Watch her interview here.