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Disgruntled Stars: Understanding The Gender Pay Gap in Hollywood



Tackling Hollywood's Gender Pay Gap

It’s no secret that, when it comes to Hollywood, equality is not their strong suit. Yes, behind all the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry lies the cruel reality that female stars earn less than 30 cents for every dollar earned by male actors. While the pay disparity has been getting the attention it deserves over the last few years with more actresses taking a stand, the pay gap is still prevalent and needs to be addressed.

It’s true that some stars are more seasoned than others, which to a certain extent justifies their hefty paycheck. You obviously cannot compare Leonardo Di Caprio to Jennifer Lawrence: while both are talented in their own right, it doesn’t take a movie buff to know who’s the better actor of the two. In this case, it’s less about gender and more about acting skills.

But before you feel sorry for these celebs – remember while their net worth may vary quite substantially, it’s not like they’re living on the streets! The same cannot be said for the average Joe working from 9 to 5. At best, one can think of creative ways to make money or find fun side hustles, like playing at a no-deposit online casino. There are quite a few giving away fantastic bonuses, Lucky Tiger Casino’s $6000 bonus is a good example of this.

On-going Battle

While Hollywood may represent a niche aspect of the gender pay gap, it cannot continue to go unnoticed. According to research, on average, female actresses earn roughly $1.1 million less than their male co-stars, with actors over 50 getting the shorter end of the stick. For older actresses, the pay gap is even wider, with them earning $4 million less than their male counterparts.

During the reshoots for All the Money in the World, in the wake of the Kevin Spacey scandal, Mark Wahlberg reportedly received $1.5 million in comparison to Michelle Williams’ $1000, despite having equal screen time. When the news broke, the production company, as well as Wahlberg, received a lot of backlash, especially since Williams is arguably the more successful star, having been nominated for an Academy Award five times. Following the media frenzy, Wahlberg donated his earnings to the Time’s Up campaign.

Another recent instance saw history repeat itself when “X-Files” star Gillian Anderson was set to receive half of her co-star David Duchovny’s salary for the show’s recent revival. According to industry insiders, Anderson was eventually able to renegotiate her contract and receive equal pay, but the situation jarringly resembled what the actress experienced when the show first aired back in 1993. Anderson revealed that it took her three years before she was able to receive the same amount of pay as her co-star for the same amount of work.

Even Claire Foy, who, despite starring as the titular character in Netflix’s “The Crown” and having additional screen time, received significantly less than her co-star Matt Smith for her two-year commitment to the series. The controversy was infamously exposed by Left Bank Pictures, prompting the streaming giant to conduct an internal review to assess the salaries of all cast members across all of their productions, both in-house and third-party. Here, Netflix was able to uncover a number of wage gaps that they were able to adjust.

Women of Colour

Women of color have it even harder, as not only do they have to fight to be represented, but they also have to fight to be paid what they are worth. Unfortunately, they also need to deal with the institutional obstacles that leave them with fewer significant opportunities than white women, both in front of and behind the camera. This then fuels an unbreakable cycle whereby, because they lack experience due to the limited opportunities available, they will continue to receive low rates.

In fact, according to recent reports, race could be considered a greater proponent of pay disparity than gender in some cases, especially in Hollywood. There is also the false narrative that predominantly “black projects” do not play well overseas and other minority-led projects do not perform well domestically. While the success of recent films such as Crazy Rich Asians, which went on to make $238.5 million, as well as “Black Panther”, which is one of Marvel Studio’s most successful films, have helped to prove the theory wrong, there will need to be a lot of work done to stop actresses of color from being lowballed.

Can It Be Solved?

As more and more female actresses continue to come out publicly and speak their truth, they will continue to set a precedent for young upcoming actresses in Hollywood, so they will know what to fight for to ensure they get equal pay for equal work. While these conversations may be uncomfortable, they are needed as they force studio executives to give actresses what they deserve. Additionally, we are also witnessing male actors join in the fight, supporting their co-stars by either fighting with them or taking pay cuts so they are able to receive equal pay.

Will Jack is an accomplished writer who loves to tell stories and loves to do research. Jack has ten years of experience content writing, so he adds a wealth of knowledge to the process of creating reader-resonant bios. Together with Jack and, learn the craft of writing biographies. Come celebrate with us the diversity and depth of the human experience via the storytelling medium.

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The net worth figures and related information presented here are derived from a variety of public sources. These figures should not be regarded as definitive or fully accurate, as financial positions and valuations are subject to change over time.