The wage gap is alive and well in the world, with women still making less on the dollar than a man for the exact same job. It’s sort of just the way things go, and while there have been major improvements in recent years, we’re still far from a resolution. Incidentally, the situation is the same in Hollywood, where actresses are getting a far smaller paycheck for just as big of a role as their male co-stars, and Jennifer Lawrence isn’t having it. She penned an essay called “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?” for Lena Dunham‘s feminist newsletter Lenny, in which she called out the film industry for basically treating women like shit in every way, but in particular when it comes to money.
Paraphrased from the Hollywood Reporter, because I’d rather jump out a window than subscribe to anything Lena Dunham does:
“When it comes to the subject of feminism, I’ve remained ever-so-slightly quiet,” writes Jennifer Lawrence in a new essay. “But with a lot of talk comes change, so I want to be honest and open and, fingers crossed, not piss anyone off.”
“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need,” she explains.
So why did she give up? “I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,’ ” she confesses. “This is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? … Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t ‘offend’ or ‘scare’ men?”
“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! F— that,” she concludes. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.”
I’m with JLaw on this – women should absolutely be paid as much as men. But movie stars, athletes, musicians, etc. should also be paid WAY less than they are. There is no need for a person to make MILLIONS of dollars for the privilege of being in a movie for a few months. Yes, their schedules are grueling and famous people make a lot of sacrifices, but fame is a choice, and comes with plenty of other benefits and being filthy rich with more money than you and your family and loved ones could use in a lifetime is completely unnecessary.
Also, JLaw is the highest paid actress in Hollywood right now – I think she made something like $60 million in 2014 ALONE. That doesn’t at all negate the point of what she’s saying, but how about we equalize wages and then lower them dramatically? Instead of making $10 million a movie, why doesn’t an actor/actress make, say, $50k? For 3-4 months worth of work, that’s more than fair – in fact, it’s what many people make in a year, so if they make 2-3 movies in a year, they’re still doing really well. Just seems silly to me otherwise.