President of Tamil Film Active Producers Association Bharathirajaa put out a statement on behalf of the body requesting actors and technicians who earn more than Rs 10 lakh to take a voluntary 30% pay cut amid the losses incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown.
“In both Telugu and Malayalam film industries, all artistes and technicians have come forward and accepted 30 to 50% reduction in their current salaries. In Tamil cinema, a few actors have come forward to reduce their salaries by 30%, considering the difficult situation of their producers. While we appreciate their kind gesture, it is not enough. Only when all the actors, actresses, and technicians, who get a remuneration of Rs 10 lakhs and above come forward and accept a reduction of 30% in their salaries, producers can reduce their overall cost, complete their films and release them without any financial difficulty,” the statement said.
The statement further mentioned that this request was being made only for films that have been stuck for over six months.
“We are making this request only for the films which were under production and are stuck due to Covid-19 and not for new films, which you are signing and commencing, for which you and the producers may decide on appropriate remuneration,” Bharithirajaa said.
Earlier, while speaking to Silverscreen India, producer G Dhananjayan had said: “We can’t enforce it, all we can do is request. In the case of my film, talks are still on regarding the pay cut but no one has agreed yet because the pandemic has affected one and all. If the pay cut is agreed upon, the loss could be made up a bit and it will be a partially good release for me. I am hoping that it happens.”
Dhananjayan is awaiting the release of Kabadadaari and has suffered losses worth nearly Rs 1 crore.
SR Prabhu of Dream Warrior Pictures, who is bankrolling Karthi’s Sulthan, had told Silverscreen India that the topic of pay cuts had been a delicate issue but the industry was yet to find a middle ground.
In the earlier months of the pandemic, Vijay Antony had announced a 25% pay cut for three of his upcoming films- Tamizharasan, Agni Siragugal, and Khaki. Actors and directors like Harish Kalyan, Mahat, Hari, and R Ajay Gnanamuthu, had also put out statements saying they were either taking pay cuts or were ready to accept the same.