The Forbes magazine’s newly released list of world’s highest paid actors left many of us speechless as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson topped the charts with an estimated amount of $64 million. The list also includes four Indian actors—Shah Rukh khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan—who have made it to the highest paid actors catalog.
But what needs to be noticed is the huge wage gap between the top the paid actresses and actors in Hollywood and Bollywood. There have been several debates in past on conquering the wage difference be it Jennifer Lawrence venting out her anger against “lucky people with dicks” in an open letter to Leny or Meryl Streep, (who has more Oscar nominations than any other actor), feeling “enraged” by the sexist culture in the film industry.
Jennifer Lawrence yet another year failed to lessen the wage gap with her male counterparts. Lawrence, who earned an estimated $46 million, is still making $20 million less than Johnson.
While in Bollywood Deepika Padukone is the only actress to make it to the Forbes list this year with $10 million to her credit. But she still gets paid way lower than her male contemporaries such as Shah Rukh Khan who earned the eighth place with $33 million. Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan starred together in 2015 box office hit ‘Dilwale’ yet Shah Rukh surpasses her income with massive gap. Deepika has three box office hits to add to her resume including Shoojit Sircar’s Piku and Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Bajirao Mastani. The 30-year-old actor has also some major brand endorsements Coca-Cola, Axis Bank, Vogue, Nescafe and Vistara.
Meanwhile Forbes stated about Shah Rukh, who once again appeared in the highest-paid actors list: “Khan continues to rule Bollywood’s box office with the lead role in hit Dilwale and many others, earning multimillion-dollar upfront fees and a cut of the back-end for his efforts. He also cashes in on endorsement deals for dozens of brands most Americans have likely never heard of.”
Maybe the number of box office hits does not pay off for actresses. But when it comes to male actors such as Akshay Kumar they exceed others with three back to back box office hits which summed up to $31.5 million.
Deepika’s Piku co-star Amitabh Bachchan also earned more than half the amount she earned i.e. $20 million as he ruled on the 18th spot whereas Salman Khan was ranked 14th with $28.5 million.
The numbers clearly show the wage disparity plaguing the film industry be it Hollywood or Bollywood. It highly escalates in the Indian context seeing Deepika’s situation in comparison to her male counterparts. Now, it is up to her to decide whether to celebrate for making it into the Forbes list as world’s top 10 highly paid actresses or contemplate over the wage gap that refuses to go.