The Cine and Television Artists Association (CINTAA) and Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC) have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), according to which, every lead actor is to be bound to a serial for a minimum of 3 years. That's not all. Actors who do not work for at least 12 hours per day will be paid only on an hourly basis, and those who do hang on for 3 years without a 4-month prior notice for leaving will be bound for another year!
The clause, though yet to be implemented, has undoubtedly become a reason for the worry of our TV celebs. While some of them were very open in their remarks about the issue, a few chose to remain diplomatic. Here's what a few had to say-
Debina Bonnerjee: If a show is doing well, people love the characters and if there is love and respect from the production team, the actor will never leave the show. You can't force some clause on them and push them to act.
Rashami Desai: It's not fair. The terms need to be fair to both parties. One may have some personal emergency, relocate to a foreign country or other reasons to quit a show. What if the show goes off air in six months, where do we stand then?
Vivian Dsena: Though it is said that the work shift is 12 hours, it easily goes up to 14 hours and then there's no time to relax, work-out or rest properly for us. There should be a mutual understanding between producer and actor which will enable the actor to quit a show amicably. I wasn't comfortable playing a father to a 20 year old in Madhubala Ek Ishq Ek Junoon, so I decided to quit and the producers respected my decision.
Ronit Roy: Any contract is based on terms and conditions put up by a producer and an actor. In case of violation of a contract, court hears both sides of the story and comes to a decision. Having said that, as an actor, If I have signed a contract of a year, I will honour my own signature, my craft and will stick to it.
On the other hand, many leading producers have opined that the development is a much-needed one in the telly world. "I think such MoUs will enable the industry in becoming more disciplined. If an actor quits, the show's sustainability goes for a toss.", averred Saurabh Tewary, producer of Colors TV's Madhubala - Ek Ishq Ek Junoon. Yash Patnaik, co-producer of Star Plus' Ek Veer Ki Ardaas...Veera feels that the MoU has taken various factors into account. "I am sure both parties will benefit from this.", he says.