'The way women are portrayed and talked about in the industry is not okay, and as women, we should not agree to work in those films because we are just harming ourselves'
As part of her #WomenInFilm series on Instagram, Sonam Kapoor has been discussing women’s contribution to Bollywood. In a new interview, she acknowledged the sexism prevalent in today's film industry.
“There still exists this idea of working with the ‘big hero’ to succeed. And female actors need to be a certain way, dress a certain way, and talk in a certain way to ‘fit in’. You still have your teams reminding you to ‘fit the mould’. I’m fortunate that my team isn’t like that, but it happens all the time!” she said.
Sonam urged her female colleagues to turn down roles that are disrespectful towards women. “Look at the way song lyrics or scripts are written about women... that needs to change. The way women are portrayed and talked about in the industry is not okay, and as women, we should not agree to work in those films because we are just harming ourselves. There is no price too high, especially considering all that has happened over this year... Each one of us needs to make better choices, or we will be subjected to a witch-hunt and we will be burnt at the stake!”
The actor addressed the gender pay gap in Bollywood. “I refuse to work with film producers who pay female actors less than males. I was told, ‘You can afford to do so as you have a safety net. You come from a rich family.’ I have been fending for myself since I was 18. It is hard for me also to say no to money but as someone who feels it is not morally right to get less paid than male stars, I don’t work for such producers,” she revealed.
The actor has been part of several women-centric films over the course of her 13-year career. She is hoping to see more female-led films being made in the coming years.