Is Expecting Gender Pay Parity in Bollywood Wishful Thinking?

Gender pay disparity is an issue as old as time, especially in the entertainment industry through out the world. In the past, storytellers replied more heavily on the star power of male actors, as they gathered masses and generated box office numbers that sadly women lead films could not achieve. This argument was extensively used to justify why a Shahrukh Khan would always be paid more than a Madhuri Dixit.

 

However, the world is not the same as it was a decade back. Storytellers as well as the audience are much more receptive to women lead movies, and even in a girl-boy story, women are more than mere props now. What a decade or two before seemed impossible is now very much attainable. The reason we can have a Queen, Raazi, Tannu Weds Mannu, Piku, Kahaani, Pari and many many more (my apologies if I've missed any) do great box office numbers is because audiences reply on actresses just as much as they do on actors.

 

Then my question is, why is pay disparity based on gender still such a big issue in Bollywood? Hollywood saw a shift because male actors decided to take a stand for their female costars. If Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, Willliam H. Macy, Liam Neeson and plenty more can stand up for pay parity, why can't Ranveer Singh stand up for his own wife? Actually, no. Scratch that. Why can't ANY male actor stand up and actively participate in this much needed movement?

 

During the promotions of Sui Dhaga with an interview with Anupama Chopra made these startling remarks: ""When an actor works as a producer, he gets money and later he also gets his share. But when an actress does it, we have to save for the budget of the movie. So, you feel the discrimination. It is not just with money but in general. There is a discrimination in a thing like, if we are out on an outdoor schedule, it is obvious that the male actor will get the better room in the hotel as compared to the female actor,"

 

Is it wishful thinking to expect actors to take responsibility? Speak up for actresses or as a user commented on this forum "... why should they interfere in each others work?"