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Priyanka Chopra highest earning actress on Forbes 2016 Celeb 100 list, but way behind male stars

The 2016 Forbes List has Deepika Padukone and Chopra representing the women in the top 10 list, fighting it out with their male counterparts on unequal pay grounds.

Shriram Iyengar

Salman Khan is the Sultan of Forbes' India 2016 Celebrity 100 list. Khan, 50, wrested back the position from Shah Rukh Khan on the power of his success with films like Sultan (2016) and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo (2015). With an earning of Rs270.33 crore, the actor is head and shoulders above Shah Rukh Khan, who is second on the list, with Rs221.75 crore. The surprise entrant into the top 10 list are Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra on 6th and 9th positions respectively.

Read more: Salman Khan tops Forbes India’s 2016 Celeb 100 list, SRK follows him

The Forbes 2016 Celebrity List is based on the parameters of entertainment-related earnings and the popularity of the celebrities in the list. The list is compiled based on data between the period 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016. 

Deepika Padukone's rise after Bajirao Mastani (2015), and subsequent Hollywood voyages have earned her the 6th position on the list with a return of Rs69.75 crore. Priyanka Chopra, surprisingly, ranks below her Bajirao Mastani costar, at the 9th place with higher earnings of Rs76 crore. This is the first time since 2012 that two female actresses have made it to the top 10 list. Back then, it was Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. As of 2016, Kareena Kapoor Khan is on 38, while Katrina Kaif has dropped out completely. 

Yet, what stands out is the massive disparity between the earnings of the female leads in comparison with their male counterparts. The issue of pay disparity has been a prominent bone of contention this year, with Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and Vidya Balan speaking out openly about the need to find a solution. The Forbes 2016 list only highlights this massive difference. Where Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan earn in figures that cross Rs200 crore, the actresses continue to struggle to break the Rs100 crore barrier. 

The difference of revenue between the richest male celeb, Salman, and the richest female celeb, Chopra is massive. 

Her increasing global presence has not helped Priyanka Chopra increase her pay scale. Her earning of Rs76 crore pales in comparison to stars ranked below her. Hrithik Roshan, despite the massive flop of Mohenjo Daro, ranks on 10 with an earning of Rs90.25 crore.

Though she is one of the highest paid actresses in the industry, Padukone's earnings total to just Rs9 crore more than Arijit Singh, ranked at 15, with Rs60.15 crore. Meanwhile, Alia Bhatt and Sonam Kapoor, two of the star performers of 2016, feature at 42 and 18 respectively. 

While the presence of Padukone and Chopra adds a semblance of equality to the Forbes 2016 list, the yawning gap between the pay scales of male and female actors in the Hindi film industry is blatantly obvious.