NEW DELHI -- Shabana Azmi feels that gender disparity in payment exists not only in Bollywood but all over the world and male actors should take a lead to end this discrimination.
The Fire (1996) actress said male superstars should support their female counterparts and be willing to be a part of women-oriented films.
"I feel gender disparity in payment exists all over the world, particularly in the film industry and that is simply because it's the male star who brings the bucks in the box office," she told reporters.
"... Just as it is perfectly acceptable that when you have any of the big heroes then the big heroines will come along and do a second role. So, why can't male young superstars also say 'alright I will do this film in which I have a less important role because I feel it's important'? So, it's all about sensitising them in a way."
Shabana, 65, lauded Shah Rukh Khan's decision of introducing his female co-star prior to his name in the credit list and said he should go beyond that gesture.
"Shah Rukh Khan made a remarkable gesture when he said that Deepika Padukone's name will come before his, that is lovely. But he needs to go beyond that," she said.
The actress, who will be seen next in education drama Chalk n Duster, said if the male stars sensitise them towards the change then equal amount of money will go into a female actress' pocket too.
"If they star in female-oriented films then the money will come in and then you would be able to make an actual change."
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