Zeenat Aman recalls the disparity in pay between herself and her male co-stars: 'It was ridiculously large.'

Zeenat Aman has spoken out about the ‘gender pay gap’ in the film industry, expressing her disappointment. She also shared an old interview clip. Watch.

Zeenat Aman, a veteran actor, has discussed how the Hindi film industry has evolved over the last few decades. She did, however, point out that the “gender pay gap” has not changed. Zeenat recalled being the ‘highest paid female actor’ in her career, but the pay gap between her and her male co-stars was’so vast it was laughable.

Zeenat took to Instagram on Saturday to share an old video from her childhood. The video showed her practising her Qurbani song Laila O Laila (1980). The video also showed actor Feroz Khan working behind the camera. “Ya, I don’t like the frame,” Feroz said as the scene ended.

“90% of the time, most of the women here are just playing ornamental roles, purely ornamental,” Zeenat said in the video to a person behind the camera. They sing, dance, and prance around the leading man. That’s all there is to it. What I sense is that there are changes in the works.”

“There are women demanding good roles and refusing to work in films, let’s say have participation,” she added. They want to do something, they demand something, and they are getting it. That sounds exciting to me. I believe that women in India should have something other than ornamentation to identify with.”

“In the late 1970s, Keith Adam from the Australian Broadcasting Commission popped by the set of Qurbani, where I was rehearsing for Laila O Laila, and snagged himself an interview,” the veteran actor captioned the post. This footage was shot nearly 50 years ago, and the industry has changed dramatically since then. The roles available to women are clearly no longer merely ornamental.”

“What hasn’t changed, however, is the gender pay gap,” she continued. During my time, I was lauded as the “highest paid female actor,” but the pay disparity between my male co-stars and myself was laughable. The Zeenat in this video was certain that half a century would be enough time to balance the scales. So it disappoints me that even today women in the film industry don’t have wage parity.”

“What hasn’t changed is the gender pay gap,” she went on. I was hailed as the “highest paid female actor” at the time, but the pay disparity between my male co-stars and myself was laughable. In this video, Zeenat was confident that half a century would be enough time to balance the scales. So it bothers me that even today, women in the film industry do not have equal pay.”

Feroz Khan produced, directed, and starred in the action thriller film Qurbani (1980). The film also stars Vinod Khanna, Amjad Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Aruna Irani, Amrish Puri, and Kadar Khan in addition to Zeenat and Feroz. Qurbani was well-known for its music, particularly the songs Aap Jaisa Koi and Laila O Laila.

By Piya

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