Lately, there has been a significant amount of controversy surrounding the practice of male actors being paired with actresses who are significantly younger than them. Notable figures like Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar have faced substantial criticism for their past choices in partnering with much younger actresses. This issue was recently reignited by a Reddit post that triggered an online discussion.
The post highlighted an interesting observation: the age difference between Jaya Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan is actually smaller than the age gap between Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone.
For those who might not be familiar with the details, Jaya Bachchan is currently 75 years old, Shah Rukh Khan is 57 years old, and Deepika Padukone is 37 years old. The comparison becomes quite striking when you consider that the age difference between Jaya Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan is less than the age gap between Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone.
While sharing the post, the Reddit user wrote the caption – ‘Just pointing out that SRK and Jaya are closer in age than SRK and DP,’ along with a snapshot of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham showing Shah Rukh Khan and Jaya Bachchan during their reunion scene at the mall in London.
In no time, the thread went viral and many users expressed their opinions on this, and frankly, many are not happy to know this.
‘This year, SRK turns 58, which is the same age that Amitabh Bachchan was in Mohabbatein,’ wrote one user. Someone commented,’20 years difference between them. It’s like your manager is romancing the intern fresh out of college.”Why would u do this to me,’ wrote a user. ‘Makes me super comfortable. Thanks OP,’ said a user.
While there were some who couldn’t care less.’You know they’re actors right? They’re not actually romancing one another. They’re literally doing a job. Blame our desi society that continue to worship these middle/late age actors but refuse to accept an actress aging. Check comments of any post of older actress and people will be making fun of their weight, greys or wrinkles. Meanwhile bhAi is bHAi,’ said one user.
‘Sab nostalgia ka khel hai. No new superstars therefore people cling to the old ones. Sabko apne favourite actor ko relevant dekhna hai. Retire ho gaye toh public aesa old feel karegi na…,’ commented a user.
‘The Khans/Akshay/Hrithik are still able to play heroes and get themselves digitally de-aged, meanwhile 90s/00s actresses were left behind once they hit their 30s (only with the advent of OTT are we seeing some recent comebacks and even then not that many),’ wrote another user.
An ongoing concern revolves around the consistent portrayal of significantly older male actors as romantic partners for their female counterparts on-screen. These portrayals have the potential to perpetuate stereotypes and normalize the idea of older men pursuing much younger women romantically, both in fiction and reality.
Moreover, this practice limits opportunities for actresses closer in age to their male counterparts, further entrenching age-related biases prevalent in the industry. This trend has sparked dialogues on gender equality, age-appropriate casting, and the pressing need for more inclusive and balanced representations within the film industry. Remarkably, this phenomenon is not confined to the Indian film industry; Hollywood also contributes to this discourse.