TV actors sweat it out with long work hours
Fame comes at a price, at least for TV actors. Even though they're paid well, a common grouse is that they have to sweat it out too often thanks to the long work hours.This has driven many actors to even quit their shows. 'This is how the TV industry works, and there is nothing that can be done to sort this out', some say, who've come to terms with this work culture, but actor Barun Sobti, who recently quit 'Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon' for this very reason, doesn't take things lying down. He recently said, "There is a labour law in the country which allows you to work for 45 hours a week, but TV actors, specially the lead actors, on an average, work close to 84 hours a week. I think there should be strict labour laws in the country." But why such long hours when the duration of the episode that's finally aired is just 15-20 minutes? Here's what lawyers and the industry have to say.
Labour laws don't cover TV actors
While Barun might be seeking stricter labour laws for TV actors, the fact is that they don't cover them. Says Anurag Tomar, a lawyer at the Supreme Court, "The Industrial Disputes Act doesn't cover TV actors. Drivers, skilled and unskilled labourers are covered under the act. TV actors and the producers don't share the relationship of an employee and employer. The actors work on a contractual basis and are not on the permanent payroll of the makers. If they have to sue the makers for any damages, they can do so under the civil law."
Hasan Anzar, lawyer at ANZ Lawz , a law firm in the capital, agrees, "In their case, the agreement or contract defines the relationship. The actors can approach civil courts for the addressal of their grievances provided their contracts don't mention the fact that they are required to put in these many hours at work,or for payment issues.These contracts are personal in nature."
With daily production there are bound to be issues
Industry people say that it's a case of 'what cannot be cured, must be endured.' Says Jay Soni, who's playing the lead in Sanskaar - Dharohar Apnon Ki, "At times, it so happens that there is an important twist in the show, and you have to spend long hours shooting for it. An actor usually spends 20 hours a day at work, with only four hours of sleep. Out of these 20 hours, 12 hours are reserved for shooting, around four hours go in commuting, and our job requires us to be fit, so we can't afford to miss the gym. But the industry functions on the mantra 'the show must go on'."
Shashi Mittal, producer of Diya Aur Baati Hum and Punar Vivah, says,"We have to churn out episodes daily. Writing, shooting... everything is going on simultaneously. There is nothing that can be done to solve this issue. The making of a TV show is just like a marriage where 100 people are involved in various things and there are bound to be issues."
Technology is to blame
While technology has made life easier for most of us, it has made the lives of TV actors tougher, as they have to shoot for the same scene from different angles. Ankit Gera, of Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, explains, "Technology is also to blame. There are several angles which are taken for a single scene. Plus, if you have a maha episode that is airing on a weekend, then your entire bank of episodes gets over. There have been instances when for Monday's episode, we have shot on Sunday, and even in the morning of the day the actual episode has to be aired."
Source: THE TIMES OF INDIA