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Is Bollywood sexist?

Sonam Kapoor shares her view on why the actress gets paid lesser than her male co-star

Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech on wage inequality in the entertainment industry, not only got Meryl Streep jump off her seat, but also received a lot of support and attention. The fiery Arquette, who accepted the Best Supporting Actor (Female) Oscar for Boyhood, said, “…To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America!”

Back in Bollywood, Sonam Kapoor spoke about wage inequality at a recent award show, with, however, a different opinion altogether. While she is all for the raise, the actress claims that it will never be the same unless films with a woman in the lead role start attracting the same kind of crowd that hero-based films do. “It’s mathematics really. There is something called a market price in our industry. It does not make economic sense for the producer to give me the same price as the lead actor of the same category. Say a Ranbir Kapoor film will open to Rs 10 crore on Friday, but my films will open significantly low. So it’s important for the producer to earn the money invested. It makes mathematic sense,” Sonam said.

While, there are many women-centric films being made these days, such as Queen, Mary Kom, NH10 and every Vidya Balance film, these films are still fewer in number, just like in Hollywood. Therefore, the fight for wage equality continues even in the most profitable private sector industry in the country – and the world.