Veteran actor Mahesh Thakur is hoping that the govt will help the entertainment industry come out of the lockdown phase downside.
“First, other essential services (agriculture, textile) will be allowed to resume operations; our sectoral priority comes last in the list. Nobody dies if films or TV content remains suspended for a longer duration. And even if that happens, I don’t see people trooping into the cinema to watch their fav unless this virus fear abates. The big multiplex chains will have to take a lot of financial pain. New projects will take at least six months before taking off. You also need to understand that our TV industry is heavily dependent on advertisement revenue. Major spenders like FMCG who themselves have suffered due to lockdown will think twice before committing more monies.”
Who will take the biggest hit?
“While big actors can afford to comfortably sit at home for months at end, it will be the daily wage earners and middle rung actors/ producers who will be most affected by an extended slowdown.”
What do you have in mind?
“I am not asking for donations, but tax cuts to help us over this awkward phase.”
Mahesh goes on to add, “In all this gloomy environment it is the already growing online sector which will again be the biggest gainer with a lot of content moving online, as cinema will find it tough to get back its patrons. New online content will be the first one to take off as compared to TV and films.”
In closing, when we ask about the buzz calling A-lister cine stars to take a salary cut, he says, “In a free-market economy, if a loaded producer is willing to take a risk by paying such a huge amount, it is his or her prerogative.”