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Deepika Padukone out of upcoming film after asking for equal pay

by Ashima

Find out why things are not looking good for DeepVeer fans.

By Pooja Shah 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the Indian director, producer and filmmaker, is best recognised for his series of blockbuster films that made him a household name in Indian Cinema. Having been announced in 2019, his much-anticipated upcoming film Baiju Bawra is a remake of a 1952 musical drama starring Meena Kumari and Bharat Bhushan. Bhansali’s adaptation was expected to feature power couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone who the director has worked with on several blockbusters in the past including Ramleela (2013), Bajirao Mastani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018).

Consistently awing audiences, it was clear that DeepVeer fans couldn’t wait to see their favourite couple onscreen again as Deepika was expected to play the role of Ranveer’s love interest in the film. However, in a heartbreaking recent announcement, Deepika revealed that she was dropping out of the film as she had spoken out against pay inequality by demanding equal pay as her husband.

This has brought more attention to the topic of the gender pay gap as Bollywood is notorious for unequal pay between male and female actors. Despite Deepika being Indian Cinema’s highest-paid actress, this is not the first or last time that a star will be let go due to demands for pay inequality. In the past, many actresses including Taapsee Pannu, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bhachchan have all expressed their frustration with not being paid as much as their male counterparts but things have yet to change.

Despite her star power, Bhansali turned down Deepika’s offer, which prompted her to resign from the film. A source related to the film shared that Deepika “demanded the same remuneration as her husband, not a penny less or a penny more.” The news has sparked a discussion on sexism and gender inequality in Bollywood, criticising prominent directors for encouraging this unfair practice.

Beyond just Bhansali coming under fire, netizens have trolled Ranveer on all social platforms for his stance on his wife’s decision. Fans were quick to comment that Deepika is a renowned actress and deserves a higher salary than her husband because she’s arguably been the real star of many of Bhansali’s films.

Netizens also said that Ranveer’s silence on the topic was disappointment as it was an indication that he supported Bhansali’s verdict, a far different reaction than most expected from the husband figure he makes himself out to be. Various opinions have even said that Deepika should leave Ranveer or that he should step down from the film in solidarity with his wife. 

Here are some popular Tweets:

Surprised that Deepika Padukone was asking for equal pay as Ranveer Singh when she should clearly be asking for more

@sayantansunnyg

Deepika please leave Ranveer you deserve better queen

@StrawberriLeaf

In contrast, there are also those who support Bhansali’s decision to reject Padukone’s demands as sources have revealed that Padukone earned Rs 13 crore for Padmaavat, while her male co-stars Ranveer and Shahid Kapoor earned Rs 10 crore each in their supporting roles. This sparked a dispute that salary is based on professional performance and not gender. It also quoted a source from Bhansali Productions stating, “In a way, it works out for the better. Four Ranveer-Deepika films in a row from Sanjay Leela Bhansali would have been excessive, don’t you think?”

Ranveer made 200+ cr with his last solo movie while Deepika grabbed 50+cr with her solo movie. That’s what determines paycheck. She definitely got paid more than Shahid in Padmavaat by same SLB. Y’all get triggered without analysing lmao

@laidbacklad

Deepika Padukone has one 1 movie in the last 3 years and that was a big flop. Ranveer Singh has done 3 movies in the last 4 years and all 3 movies have done great at the box office. An actor or actress is paid according to the box office they generate and not their gender.

@hareramharekrishna

Ultimately, the outcome of this situation is quite shocking for all fans. Internet trolls have speculated about a deterioration in the relationship between Bhansali, Ranveer and Deepika as they are close both professionally and personally. However, after the news broke, both Deepika and Ranveer have cleared the air by expressing their heartfelt gratitude towards Bhansali and his role in their respective careers as he celebrates 25 years in the Indian Cinema. 

Deepika has continued to stand firm in her stance, publicly stating that she “knows her worth.” The media also suspects that celebrities will continue commenting on the situation as it unfolds. Although it has been confirmed that Ranveer will star Baiju Bawra without his wife, DeepVeer fans need not worry as the duo will star as husband and wife in Kabir Khan‘s next film 83 that is set to premiere this year.

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