Sabri believed that young theatre practitioners must make themselves as equally popular as those who rose to fame through social media, if they want to command similar payment from producers. NSTP FILE PIC
Sabri believed that young theatre practitioners must make themselves as equally popular as those who rose to fame through social media, if they want to command similar payment from producers. NSTP FILE PIC

#SHOWBIZ: Unfair to base payment for theatre players solely on popularity, says Sabri Yunus

Tahir Alhamzah

KUALA LUMPUR: "It's unfair for us to base payment for actors just by looking at their popularity alone," says senior actor and theatre activist Sabri Yunus.

Berita Harian today quoted the multi-talented 62-year-old artiste as saying this in his response to the statement made by fellow artiste Farah Ahmad in her recent TikTok post regarding payment for those involved in a theatre production.

Farah, who is also the daughter-in-law of theatre doyenne Datuk Fauziah Nawi, felt it was unfair for knowledgeable theatre practitioners that do not have an army of fans to be paid much lower compared to more popular artistes in the same production that might not necessarily be equipped with the right experience or skills.

Sabri agreed and said that knowledgeable people in theatre are paid less despite their acting credibility in comparison to those who rose to fame through reality shows or social media.

"Logically, in any profession, knowledgeable people would command a higher pay compared to those with less qualifications and experience. It's the same scenario with veteran actors here.

"Instead, actors with more followers on social media are the ones getting better payment in our industry today," he said.

Meanwhile, Sabri who also owns a production house, said that the quantum paid to those involved in his productions would be based on the significance of the roles played.

"Usually payment is determined by the given role, with the highest payment going to the leading cast, trickling down to the extras."

However, Sabri also added that if popularity is given the priority today, new players must also adapt to the current trend.

"Like it or not, if you want to command an equal pay, you have to make yourself as equally popular on social media," said Sabri, who believed that exposure is also important for young theatre activists.