In the comments section there, it was revealed that the two boys that play Jamal and Salim as children are actually from the slums of Mumbai and have not benefited from the success of the film. In fact, they've barely benefited at all. One of the boys was paid a little over $1,000 for his work and the other was paid $3,600. You can read the full story here. In addition, you can see reaction from Boyle and company here.
According to the Screen Actors Guild site, the basic rate for an actor is around $2,600. Of course this can fluctuate depending on negotiations, but let's just assume that's the case. And based on the fact that the boys are in about half the film, one could assume that shooting with them involved several weeks. Needless to say, the boys were not properly compensated for their work. Word is that there were several agreements in place between the boys and the production company, including money to stay in school and a trust fund set up for them.
Here's an idea. How about you pay them what they deserve? If it is decided that they receive additional monies for school or their future, that's a separate issue. But at least pay them a basic salary as it has been set for so many others. It is unconscionable to me that this sort of thing could happen. This is the ugliest underbelly that Hollywood could expose.
Actually, when you think about it, it would make for a perfect movie. Show a scene of Boyle and company accepting the Golden Globe on stage, all mugging for the cameras. Juxtapose that with scenes of Rubina and Azharuddin running through squalor in the slums of Mumbai. Cut again to Boyle and company drinking champagne and hitting all the after parties, all mugging for the cameras. Juxtapose that with Azharuddin and his family living under a plastic sheet since their house was recently torn down because it was deemed illegal.
Oh, the irony.
One can only hope that this bad press causes 20th Century Fox to do right by these boys. And then may they rot in hell for their sins.