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Deepika Padukone Will Be The Co-Producer In Karan Johar’s Upcoming Film. That’s Progressive Only If She Gets Profit-Share.

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Apart from the #MeToo movement, another subject that’s gaining a lot of momentum in Bollywood is the gender-based pay disparity, which has been prevalent since forever. It doesn’t matter if the question makes some fraternity members uncomfortable, it refuses to become subdued or irrelevant. Call me philosophical but no change was ever brought from staying within the comfort zone. So this is good! The dialogue about pay disparity in Bollywood will continue to swell, and filmmakers are feeling obliged to participate in it. A while ago, we heard that Deepika Padukone will star in Kapoor & Sons director Shakun Batra’s next, which will be produced by Karan Johar. And now the buzz is that she will get the co-producer credit as well for the film.

Now let’s get to what that really means. Recently, Karan Johar commented on the pay disparity during the promotions of Good Newwz and he said that he is all set to give actresses the co-producer’s credit in female centric films. “When it comes to female-led films we have made sure that there has never been a disparity. There is profit share given and in near future you will see producer credit given to women-led films, if they lead the film then they must get a humongous part of the pie. And you will hear announcements about women-led films with strong producer credits. There is and will not be a disparity with our company and I see that happening in the film fraternity as well.” So if I try to add two and two, it seems like Deepika Padukone will be getting profit-share of the movie.

What is profit-sharing in Bollywood?

Till date, this concept has been widely applicable to male actors, so in a way, apart from the straight-up fee, there’s a disparity here too. But then again, most Bollywood movies have been male-centric until recently when A-list actresses are no more interested in playing the lesser mortal in films or in real life. We’ve heard how Akshay Kumar didn’t charge a fee for Airlift but actors end up making much more in the profit-sharing model. For instance, Salman Khan who generally charges Rs 70 crore per film, must have earned a whopping Rs.150 crore from Sultan with just the profit-sharing model. Aamir Khan strictly works on profit-sharing basis and feels that it’s beneficial to both the producer and him. While actors charge a straight-up fee and profit-share, Aamir sticks to the latter so the producer doesn’t incur losses, in case the film tanks.

Until now, this privilege has been with male actors but buzz is that Priyanka Chopra received profit share for The Sky Is Pink. PeeCee was the producer on that. Taapsee Pannu too admitted to have claimed it for the Telugu film Anando Brahma. Kangana Ranaut turned producer with Manikarnika and worked on profit-sharing. Which means that the change is happening but rather slowly.

Does that mean Deepika Padukone will get a cut of the profit?

Now the thing is that only one actor can get profit-share in the movie. So usually, it’s the male actors who go home with that amount. However, Deepika Padukone has come a long way and has several female-centric movies to boast of. She had asked for profit-share in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, as opposed to Ranveer Singh – and she was denied it. However, that resulted in her straight-up fee getting hiked which made her the highest earning actress in India. So even though the base of that development was unfair, because she deserved profit-sharing every bit, but it did make a point towards the pay disparity debate.

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Since she is coming on board as a co-producer, we are hoping that will mean she will be able to get what she deserves – which is more monies! But till now, we don’t have clarity on that.

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