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Varun Dhawan Speaks Up Against Pay Disparity, Says Alia Bhatt Should Demand More!

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Wait a minute, have the woke men finally come to Bollywood? The film industry is not exactly known for supporting its female actors. This strongly came to light when the #MeToo movement in the west resulted in shows being axed when the male lead was accused of sexual harassment or heads rolling in the higher echelons when the cases came to light. In Bollywood, on the other hand, the movement barely made a dent. Actresses who spoke about this didn’t name or shame. And the actors? The less said, the better.

So it took us by surprise when Varun Dhawan mentioned in a press interaction the fact that he supported fellow actor Alia Bhatt, asking her to up her price because she is a ‘star’ in her own right. He said, “Why has it taken the trade and the industry as a whole until a Raazi to realise that Alia Bhatt is a big star. Be it Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and even 2 States were all hits and Alia Bhatt was just as responsible for its success as I was or Arjun was.”

But Varun Dhawan might not be the only one. Shah Rukh Khan has spoken about this and announced that all female leads would be named first in the credits. However, this was considered a token gesture by many. Of course, we need the female actresses to rally around the cause. Priyanka Chopra brought this up when she was talking about Mary Kom. She said if the audience is willing to watch a female-centric movie, she doesn’t see any reason why she shouldn’t be paid at par with male actors.

Anushka Sharma has been pretty vocal about the gender pay gap as well. She said, “If there is an actor of the same stature as me, he would still be paid more than me because he is a guy. Men can work as long as they want to, but women are only okay till they are young and desirable. If you’re on an outdoor shoot, you know that the guy is going to get a better room than you. Why?”

Other actresses like Kangana Ranaut, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha and others have also lamented the lack of equality in pay. With an actor finally talking about this, do you think people will listen? It remains to be seen.

But then again, do we need a male voice to amplify what we have been saying all along? Why?


Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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