From the outside it seems that TV is all about glamour, hardly anyone realizes that there goes a lot of hard work into it. Prolonged working hours, tight schedules and what not? Therefore shooting for daily soaps is no cakewalk.
But recently a new truth has surfaced regarding the industry which is hard to believe. Which is the artists get their paychecks only after 90 days of hard work and they end up struggling more for money or being dependent on their savings.
And recently some TV actors have opened about their plight during their initial days. This is what they had to say:
"I hate this system of getting paid 90 days after the first telecast of a show. This period usually increases because the show also takes a month or more to set up. That means actors don’t get paid for more than four months. And once the show is over, we have to keep reminding the producers about our dues for the next three to four months. I remember I was told I would be paid right after the shoot gets over, but that never happened. First, the account department lost the invoice that I raised. After I submitted it again, I was informed the money hasn’t come from the channel and, later, they blamed the lack of funds. I had to give a dharna in front of their office and only after four months of struggle did they pay me. If I hadn’t behaved the way I did, I wouldn’t have gotten my money."
"The reason that production houses give for paying an artist after 90 days is that they receive payment from the channel after a certain number of days. But lately, I’ve realized, it’s more like a tool to cut costs in case the show is wrapping up. You won’t be surprised that a production house refused to pay me for two months. I escalated the issue with the channel and their first reply was, ‘Yes, it often happens towards the end of a show’. It has become an accepted norm and a lot of people are okay with it, and that’s where a wrong precedent has been set. Actors don’t fight for their principles. I’ve worked with amazing producers, who have paid me on time, but there are some corrupt ones, too."
Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya
"The initial days of any TV show are extremely difficult for actors’ survival and we have to use our savings. It’s not an ideal cycle, especially for those just starting off their careers. In recent years, GST has added to our woes as we are paying taxes from our pocket even before we get our pay cheques. We deserve timely and fair pay. This may be the working style on television but if this situation continues, we may lose some quality actors to new mediums like the web."
"For one of my previous shows, the payment was delayed and I had to follow up repeatedly. It wasn’t a good situation to be in. I don’t believe in waiving or settling the account by reducing the due amount. Sometimes, sudden expenses pop up, and it gets really difficult for us to manage them. When the crew gets paid monthly, why do actors have to wait for 90 days or sometimes 130 days? Industry genuinely needs to get organized when it comes to this issue."
"When Gurmeet (Choudhary) and I were working on Ramayan, we became very popular. We had been paying ₹12,000 as rent for our apartment and the agreement was coming to an end. Looking at our popularity, the landlady raised the rent to ₹25,000. She said ‘you have become so popular, you can afford to pay this’. It was difficult to explain to her that our payment comes after three months. So, I had to leave the flat overnight."
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