That it is The Guardian reporting this story?
The threat, from the powerful culture and Islamic guidance ministry (Ershad), came after publicity surrounding Golzar\’s fee led to a leading film critic, Reza Ostadi, naming and shaming other well-remunerated actors on nationwide television. Ostadi read out a list of 27 who were paid sums of up to £60,000 a film. Such fees are considered astronomical in Iran and are at odds with the hairshirt egalitarianism promoted by the country\’s Islamic revolutionary ideology. Producers and directors have seized on Ostadi\’s list to warn that actors\’ earnings are fuelling rising production costs and threatening the viability of Iran\’s small but vibrant film industry. Another critic, Ali Moalem, warned in Tehran-e Emrooz newspaper that Iranian cinema was aping Hollywood by paying huge fees while lacking the means to generate comparable profits. \”Iran\’s cinema is nothing like Hollywood,\” he wrote. \”There is limited sale and distribution.\”
Some actors have claimed in response that their rewards are justified by the insecure and short-lived nature of their careers and pale in comparison to footballers\’ salaries. That has cut little ice with the head of Ershad\’s cinema supervisory body, Ali-Reza Sajadpour, who has warned that \”uncommonly\” high payouts will be subject to high taxes in future.
Now the question is, why did they report the story in this manner? For of course with all the backstabbing that goes on at that newspaper (and which is endemic in lefty circles what with all the groupuscules insisting that they alone have the blueprint for the promised land: if you thought academic disputes were bitter over nothing they\’ve got nothing on the hatred between, say, the Communist Party of Great Britain and The British Communist Party*) which is the message we\’re supposed to take away from it?
That\’s it\’s a welcome sign of someone, somewhere, tackling \”astronomical\” pay through the tax system? Or a warning over the absurdities that \”hairshirt egalitarianism\” will bring us to?
Brownie points will be awarded for the first to spot a CiF article (wouldn\’t want to include Compass here for of course that would be too easy) using this as an example for a High Pay Commission.
*No idea whether those two ever actually existed but would have thought so at some point, even if only for an evening while an argument over the right way to mobilise the masses was discussed.