Artists deserve royalties for their art: Ushna Shah

Celebrities come out in Naila Jafry’s support

Actor Ushna Shah has called on the government to provide actors with insurance, retirement plans, and royalties for their art.

“Royalties are meant to feed artists for life,” she said. “But in Pakistan, we are heartbreakingly forsaken.”

A number of celebrities have come out in support of TV veteran Naila Jafry after a video showing her asking channels to pay her royalties for the reruns of her dramas went viral. She has been fighting cancer for six years.

“Naila shouldn’t have had to publicly request for what is hers,” Ushna said. “Many fans have relied on the kindness of fans once their distress was made public.”

Yasir Hussain revealed that after seeing his Instagram stories, a fan, who wanted to help Naila, was placed in direct contact with her. Mikaal Zulfiqar too urged his professional community to take a stand on unpaid royalties. Mansha Pasha wondered when artists and technicians in Pakistan would be given due rights.

Royalties for reruns have become a hot debate in Pakistan after Naila raised her point on social media. She added that many have supported her, but a system is needed for making sure some portion of the profit from reruns is given to actors.

In the west, actors make a decent living by earning royalties, referred to as “residuals” in television industry. According to a report, stars of the 1990’s hit sitcom Friends received roughly $10,000 an episode for reruns. 

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