Weeks before her best friend (and fellow feminist) Meghan Markle’s wedding, Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has revealed she has faced explicit racism in her move to Hollywood.
The South Asian star was already a hit in Hindi Bollywood films before she made her way across the big pond to break Hollywood too.
In a new interview, she has revealed how the two movie businesses, continents apart, share problems with sexism and racism.
Since , actresses have become infinitely more vocal about both the gender pay disparity in Hollywood, but the racial disparity too. - after learning of Spencer’s pay disparity - went into negotiations with her future co-star to ensure equal pay.
Now Chopra, who has been vocal about her feminist beliefs, has spoken out about how both India and America have terrible gender pay disparity.
She told the magazine:
‘I feel it every year, especially when you’re doing movies with really big actors, whether it’s in India or America. If an actor is getting 100 bucks, the conversation will start with max, like, 8 bucks. The gap is that staggering,’
However, Chopra claims the only difference is how Hollywood ‘sugarcoats discrimination.
She says, ‘In America, we don’t talk about it as brashly, whereas in India the issue is not skirted around. I’ve been told straight up, if it’s a female role in a movie with big, male actors attached, your worth is not really considered as much.’
Similarly, the racism she has come up against in the US has been unspoken, but nevertheless present. She describes a devastating incident where her agent told her her race was the reason she didn’t get the part:
I was out for a movie, and somebody [from the studio] called one of my agents and said, ‘She’s the wrong—what word did they used?—‘physicality.’ So in my defence as an actor, I’m like, ‘Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?’ Like, what does ‘wrong physicality’ mean?'...And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, ‘I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who’s not brown.’ It affected me.
Not cool people, not cool at all.