Zeenat Aman says she’s disappointed that women don’t have wage parity in Bollywood, while sharing a BTS video of ‘Laila O Laila’ – WATCH
Since making her Instagram debut, actress Zeenat Aman has been winning over fans and providing major inspiration. The actress has not only shared some incredible retro content, but she has also spoken out on a number of important topics and offered some insightful advice.
Zeenat recently released a video from the sets of ‘Qurbaani’ in which she can be seen practising her performance of ‘Laila O Laila,’ one of her most well-known songs. The actress said that an Australian journalist flew all the way to visit her because she is “so beautiful” in a white dress with a high slit and a silver headpiece. This clip is from that interview, and it shows her making a particularly salient point.
The actress claimed that “women here are playing ornamental roles” 90% of the time. They perform a song and dance routine centred on the protagonist. Women in India have historically been treated as little more than ornaments, but thankfully times are changing and they are now demanding more substantive roles.
The seasoned actress spoke out about the gender pay gap in Bollywood as well. She said that despite being the highest-paid actress at the time, her paycheck was significantly smaller than the male actor’s. She recalled, “In the late ’70s, Keith Adam from the Australian Broadcasting Commission dropped by the set of Qurbani, where I was practising ‘Laila o Laila,’ and snagged himself an interview. After nearly half a century, the film industry looks very different from this footage. As previously mentioned, women’s options in the workforce are no longer limited to purely decorative positions. The disparity in pay between men and women has remained unchanged. I was once called the “highest paid female actor,” but when compared to my male co-stars, the pay gap was so large that it was embarrassing to discuss.
Zeenat is disappointed that nothing has changed so far. She continued, “The Zeenat you see in this clip was quite certain that half a century would be enough time to even the scales. That said, the fact that women still don’t make as much as men do in Hollywood saddens me. The onus, I believe, is now on our male actors, directors, and producers to ensure that all of their female coworkers (not just the stars) are paid fairly for the work they do. Even though it’s a no-brainer, it’d be a game-changer if any man actually did it.
The internet praised Zeenat’s video and caption. She was dubbed “the OG” by many as well. Shweta Bachchan Nanda replied to Zeenat’s post, “So well said and put!!!.”
In 1980, the movie “Qurbaani” was released. Feroz Khan, the film’s director, is also a visible presence. Zeenat appeared in it alongside Feroz, Vinod Khanna, Amjad Khan, and Shakti Kapoor.