Slumdog Millionaire filmmakers blast child exploitation claims

Slumdog Millionaire’s director and producer have spoken out against allegations of exploiting child actors for the movie.

Director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson issued a statement in response to a Daily Telegraph article which claimed two eight-year-olds from Mumbai were underpaid for their work.

The children’s parents say Rubiana Ali (who plays young Latika) was paid £500 for a year’s work and Azharuddin Ismail (who plays young Salim) was paid £1,700.

However, Boyle and Colson say the children were enrolled in school for the first time while the movie was made and that a fund was established to cover the pair’s education, living costs, health and any emergencies. The statement added the children would also receive a “substantial” lump sum if they stay in school until they are 18.

“Since putting these arrangements in place more than 12 months ago, we have never sought to publicise them, and we are doing so now only in response to the questions raised by the press,” Colson and Boyle said in the statement.

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