They had to bear the brunt of the pandemic if they had to survive in the industry and thus continue working on low pay-cheques.
MUMBAI: Ever since the covid-19 pandemic has hit the world, things have drastically changed everywhere. This includes the showbiz as well. Our beloved Television industry has been hit the worst with producers having to make a show on a low budget with reduced ad revenue.
Thus the remuneration of several well established as well as upcoming actors was slashed. They had to bear the brunt of the pandemic, if they had to survive in the industry and thus continue working on low pay-cheques.
However, now that things are nearly back to normal and the covid scenes are way behind us, Tv actors hoped that their remuneration would get a make-over and increased to at least the pre-covid times. But sadly, that has not been the case. Here is what some artists vented out to a news portal on the unfair pay-cheques that continue in the telly world;
Sehban Azim of Thapki Pyar Ki fame said, “Slashed budgets have not only resulted in pay cuts, but have also affected the quality of TV shows. When you are making a show on a smaller budget, you often tend to settle for newer actors in the supporting cast, who may not be able to deliver big lines and the quality suffers. And it is not just about actors. I know so many good directors who are sitting at home because they are offered 50 per cent lesser fees than earlier. Creativity is getting compromised.”
Kanwar Dhillon of Pandya Store was of the opinion, “The pandemic has become a reason for people to not give actors and technicians their well-deserved money. Many actors are not taking up offers because the money is very low. It has become difficult to work at such a low remuneration. I am glad that Pandya Store came to me at the right time because after that, the second wave hit and budgets were slashed drastically. Also, I make it a point to work on the remuneration I feel I deserve because I have to run my household, too.”
Abhay Vakil of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii fame added, “If an actor is referred to by the channel, then there will be no compromise on his/her budget. No matter what the actor is charging, the producer will pay him as the channel wants him. Hence, I feel it is high time now that actors get their due.”
Asmita Arora of Badtameez Dil fame said that this is one of the main reasons actors are switching to the OTT medium. She shared, “TV show makers have slashed budgets and are opting for newer actors because they come at a lesser price. It is not fair to the established ones. There should be opportunities for both or else actors like us will start thinking of moving to other mediums to earn money.”
Meethai producer Arvind Babbal voiced his concern over actors demanding higher pay packages saying, “We have to be realistic about things post the pandemic. If a channel is getting an X amount, they will not spend more than that, so actors should also demand realistic money. Those days are gone when you paid an actor around 1 lakh per day or a director would get paid a very high salary.”
Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai! Producer Binaifer Kohli added, “Why are actors crying about pay cuts? The remuneration of the entire crew has undergone a change and we have to accept it because the ads have reduced. The broadcaster has to work on a budget and not rely on the whims of an actor. If they are asking for newcomers, why not, because every project has to be sustainable and economically viable. We have launched many newcomers and also have experienced actors working with us.”
Finally casting director Amano Dhyan gave us an idea as to what TV stars are paid and that some of them have even given up on good projects because of low payments offered. He said, “Lead actors, who were paid around `80,000 per day, have had to come down to `55,000 – `60,000. Newcomers, who are playing the lead, are now paid between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. Practically everyone has had to take a cut and I don’t see things changing in the near future.”
What do you think of the pay-cuts of TV actors?
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