Owing to coronavirus pandemic the nation is under lockdown since late-March. This has lead to a huge economic downfall. From pay cuts to companies shutting down, major bigwigs are facing the wrath of the declining economy. In fact, its the entertainment sector that has to bear the brunt of the losses. Several daily wage workers, light men, spot boys and some of the actors from the industry haven't got their dues due to the current situation.
Seeing their plight, people from the industry have come together and joined hands to help the daily wage workers and the actors who haven't got the payment from the production houses. Looking at the current situation it is reported that the producers will start shooting from mid-June. However, the producers haven't given any confirmation regarding the recent development.
However, once the shoot begins to roll, most of the producers would opt for a pay cut for the actors and the budget will be tight considering the loss that they had to bear all this while. The question is how many actors are ready to take the loss, and cut down on their payments.
International Business Times India exclusively spoke to some of the renowned actors on what they feel should be done amidst this ongoing crisis of non-payment of dues and if they are okay to cut down on the budget once they start to roll.
Mona Singh (Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain season 3 fame)
I believe these are really very tough times and the 90 days pay scale (when the payment is credited after three months) is something that should be reduced. Actors put in a lot of their time for shoots, while the daily soap actors shoot for more than 14 hours, so the payment should be on time, at least in these unprecedented hours when things are challenging and rough. I would just like to say that I will see what can be done once I get back to shoot.
On the work front, I just wrapped up the first schedule of Laal Singh Chadha with Aamir Khan and we came back just before the lockdown was announced.
Ronit Bose Roy (Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain season 3 fame)
In the ongoing scenario and pay cut, I would just like to say that, the actors who have signed the contract for the 90-day payment will get it after the completion of their tenure. The reason why the actors have signed the contract was maybe they were sure about their saving and bank balance. Only if the producer doesn't pay after 90 days then the issue lies there. Talking about the current situation like this, if the producers don't take care of the actors then it's not fair, if they (producers) have to pay them after 90 days, but the (actor) needs it now, give it to them right away. They can't stay hungry.
Sudhanshu Pandey (upcoming show Casino on Zee 5)
Talking about the pay cut, I believe there are two sides to it. The actors who charge very high can cut down their payment, and the actors who have to give rent and take care of the day-to-day expenses, I believe the pay cut for them is unfair. Once everything reopens I think only then an actor and producer can talk about it and understand what can be done, it is not ethical to cut the payment of an actor who's daily expenditure comes from acting and he has to pay his rent and bills. The actors who succumbed to suicide were the ones whose income was solely based on acting and they weren't paid the dues.
Sara Khan (Actor and Producer)
I am an actor as well as a producer, and it is very unfortunate to see this condition. It is not only just us (entertainment) but even other sectors are facing a financial issues, employees aren't getting paid, because their bosses aren't paid. I would just like to say please help each other and stay focussed. I really hope that the situation gets back to normal.
Namit Khanna ( Sanjivanii fame)
I read the rules laid by CINTAA, its clearly mentioned by them that if a producer hires a certain actor who has his or her payment set, it won't change. I feel its a fair deal. Having said that it is also an individual choice, that's how the cut happens ethically and personally for me I don't think I should lower my value due to pandemic, kaam toh wahi hai, its not the right way. It is an excuse ki lockdown hai. Even my dues aren't cleared as yet. Had there been unity, things would be different.
With the ongoing rise in cases of coronavirus and lockdown rules changing every fortnight, we only hope that things get back to normalcy soon.
Only time will tell, how many actors will cut on their exorbitant budget. Till then, keep reading this space for more updates!