Senior actors seek amendment of new rule that does not allow them on film sets
As part of government guidelines, actors, technicians and other staff who are 65 years of age or older will not be allowed on sets
With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the country, several state governments are mulling the re-imposition of lockdown. As part of the efforts to protect the more vulnerable groups from the virus, the government has urged people above the age of 65 (and 60 in some states) to not venture out.
With regards to the film and television industry, the government had issued guidelines and SOPs to resume shoot from May 31 onwards, when the lockdown was suspended. However, due to the necessary precautions that needed to be taken in light of the pandemic, TV shoots only resumed by the end of last month.
Production houses are taking special precautions such as providing medical cover for all team members and are ensuring that social distancing is maintained on the sets at all times.
However, as part of the guidelines, actors, technicians and other staff who are 65 years of age or above will not be allowed on sets, thereby throwing a wrench in their work plans.
However, now, prominent actors such as Hema Malini, Shabana Azmi and Paresh Rawal have sought amendments to the aforementioned rule. The requests come just days after senior television actor Kanwaljit Singh publicly expressed his disappointment over being replaced by a younger actor on a show.
“A small portion of Vikas Khanna’s untitled film has yet to be shot. What happens to these projects? Why should producers have to sign on younger artistes and make them sport grey hair? Why is this rule applied only to the film industry, and not politicians? Will they ensure that no leader above 65 will attend any political rally,” Mid Day quoted Shabana as saying. "They (technicians and artists) don’t have parallel businesses whereby they can make up their losses.”
Last week, actor and BJP MP Hema Malini wrote to home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla. Hema, citied the examples of Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher and herself and said in the letter that these senior artistes “will be restricted from completing their previous and recurring projects.”
Echoing her sentiments Paresh Rawal said, “The sets should have the necessary safety measures in place. So many doctors and nurses over 65 years of age are on the field every day. They are exposed to more severe conditions.”