Gender disparity is a term everyone is familiar with, be it in any sphere of society. Bollywood just plays a master stroke and contributes its best in making the gender game a big hit. Not just stereotyping and objectifying are the players of this game, even numbers play the role of “hukkum-ka-ekka”. The slow, subtle and less recognized phase has various aspects to look upon; the clans and fandom being majorly for male celebs (Khan clan) is just one aspect.
Looking at the very basic factor that makes an actor or actress, a celebrity is their Fans. They adore and worship their ideal celebrity as brilliantly depicted in the movie ‘Fan’, meanwhile also backlash and troll those who question their idols, for instance, Salman Khan’s fan base defends their star even knowing his actions and statements are wrong and malice at times.
On reviewing twitter handles of certain celebs, a fact gets more clear that certainly male celebs have more fan base than female celebs, as according to Twitter’s top 100 most followed celebrities @SrBachchan has 27,935,375 followers, followed by Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan whereas the follower count of female celebs starts with Deepika Padukone with just 19,375,526 followers.
Gender game does not just end with the fan base facts. It deepens with the pay scale inequality which is already an issue much talked about. As a matter of fact, male celebrities get a whopping salary, female celebrities face a backstage. Female celebs like Deepika Padukone earns 10-12 crore per film, and Kangana Ranaut earning 10-11 crore per film; Male actors, apart from profit sharing, earn a handsome salary such as Salman Khan charges 60 crores per film and Shahrukh Khan charging 40-45 crores per film.
Box Office Collections
Box office collections too are a witness of gender bias. Highest grossing worldwide Bollywood movies majorly include male-celebrity-centric movies such as Dangal with Rs.1864 crores, PK with Rs.792 crores, Bajrangi Bhaijaan with Rs.626 crores and Chennai Express with Rs.422 crores of worldwide collection; whereas female-centric movies are neglected by audience and earn an average box office collection such as Neerja with Rs.121 crores, Mary Kom with Rs.92 crore and Angry Indian Goddesses with just Rs.2 crores of overall collection.
Mainstream stereotyping gets center stage; male celebrities are provided a diversity of roles, a warrior, a savior, a lover boy, a cable man or a someone taking revenge even at the age of 40s and 50s but a female celeb is objectified and diversity of a female character is ignored. The card of beauty plays for the actresses- with the dawn of their age, their career, too, faces a downfall. Though the movies like Piku are breaking the stereotypes with a collection of Rs.79 crores, yet it faced the controversy of the movie is a success due to Mr.Amitabh Bachchan or Deepika Padukone.
These certain factors state the continuing gender bias even after 100 cinematic years of Bollywood. The present era has marked a few slightest changes as female-centric movies are on its way and taking the Bollywood industry by storm. Shahrukh Khan took a tiny yet commendable step towards balancing gender game by announcing to introduce the female lead of his movie first. The pay scale issue led to hike in salary of female celebs.
Celebs like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra are making their own mark in the international market. Such advancements are much needed to balance out the gender game in Bollywood which is an ideal to many, thus indirectly helping to mark a major change in society as well.