Actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, who was recently the subject of a controversy after it was reported that she had hiked her fee to star in a reimagining of the Ramayana from Sita’s perspective, has said that more people are talking about pay disparity in the industry now.
In an interview, Kareena Kapoor said that she makes it clear how much she should be paid for projects, and likened it to ‘respect’. While Kareena has never spoken about the unconfirmed reports that suggested she’d asked for ₹12 crore to appear in the epic film, she spoke about equal pay in the industry in light of the controversy for the first time.
“Just a few years ago, no one would talk about a man or woman actually getting equal pay in a movie. Now there are a lot of us being very vocal about it,” she told the Guardian. “I make it quite clear what I want and I think that respect should be given,” she added. “It’s not about being demanding, it’s about being respectful towards women. And I think things are kind of changing.”
Kareena had previously swatted away the mention of this controversy in an interview with NDTV. “What next for Kareena Kapoor Khan? You have a film with Aamir Khan later this year, there was talk that you were getting ₹12 crore, you were asking for ₹12 crore, and other actresses came out in support of you, but I think that was fake news…” the anchor said. Kareena’s response was unintelligible, but she shook her head, and said, “Yeah, yeah…”
Her industry colleagues such as Taapsee Pannu and Priyamani stood up in her support after a section of the internet trolled her, accusing her of greed. Taapsee told Bollywood Bubble, “You’ll always read about this problem issue of hiked salary with 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.”
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Bollywood Hungama had previously quoted a source as saying that Kareena Kapoor had hiked her remuneration from around ₹6-8 crore to ₹12 crore for the Sita film. The source also noted that the film would require between eight to 10 months of the actor’s time. Incidentally, her husband Saif Ali Khan is playing Lankesh in another film inspired by the Ramayana, Adipurush.