Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Help! I haven’t been paid
This was going to be a blog on a totally different topic, but Facebook changed it all.
Named “Blacklist” and started by stylist Sapna Bhavnani, the group is full of complaints and horror stories of companies holding back payments for months together.
“Instead of paying huge and irrelevant amounts to stars, why don’t these producers pay their technicians,” reads a message on the group wall.
‘Blacklist’ has more than 2,500 members, all of whom have presumably been at the receiving end.
Increasingly, India’s media industry is being viewed as a booming, thriving sector, where corporate culture is making every process streamlined and transparent. Bollywood alone is a multi-million dollar industry, so is Indian television.
And yet, there have always been stories of non-payment of dues, or artists being asked to leave midway through a shoot. If you have any connection with this industry, you are bound to hear these tales.
The industry has seen two strikes in the last six months alone, and I would say the reason for both is basic lack of structure and transparency that plagues one of the most creative industries in the world.
The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) estimates its membership to be around 45,000 but the number of people who work in this industry must be far more.
If the same thing happened in corporate or government office, things would be different. Why isn’t it the same in the creative field?
Surely it isn’t much to ask to be paid on time for services rendered. What do you think is the solution?