Hollywood's leading ladies are increasingly focusing on the gender pay disparity

Nov 15, 2015, 08:05 IST | Ria Lawrence

Traditionally, the office space was a male-dominated area, and even with women working shoulder to shoulder with men today, it seems not much has changed and that reflects in the pay cheques. 

Even today in Hollywood, female stars get far less money that their male colleagues. And since last year actresses have taken a stand and called out the many double standards that lay beneath the fancy exteriors of showbiz.

Sharon Stone

Case in point: Sharon Stone. The high-profile actress who made a  major breakthrough with her role in Basic Instinct spoke strongly about how the wage gap issue has personally impacted her.

She says, “I remember sitting in my kitchen with my manager and crying and saying I’m not going to work until I get paid,” also adding that she “still got paid so much less than any man.”

A number of actresses have personally taken on the role of being a harbinger of change and the issue per se seems to be gaining momentum.

In fact, 2015 is turning out to be the year when Hollywood actresses openly raged against the pay disparity and work opportunity issue. We take a look at a few powerful actresses who joined the roster and voiced their sentiments bravely.

Jennifer Lawrence
The Hunger Games actress penned an entire essay where she openly addressed the fact that she was paid a lot less than her American Hustle co-stars. The actresses essay was notable for its sentiments of anger, an emotion one would not associate with the actress’s otherwise affable image. 

‘I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable,’ she wrote. Lawrence later made headlines when it was reported that in a first of its kind incident she would be earning a staggering $20 million as opposed to her co-star Chris Pratt’s $12 million.

Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried

The actress hit back against the pay issue and very strongly at that. The actress claimed that she was paid about 10 per cent of what her male co-star earned for one of her movies despite the fact that she and him were equal in stature and body of work. “It’s not about how much you get, it’s about how fair it is,” she said.

Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller

Miller refused a big Broadway role after learning that she was being paid a lot less than a male co-star. She went on to make a powerful statement about how women need to take a stand if they expect things to change. “The producer wouldn’t pay me within a million miles of what the male actor was being paid. The only way is to make a stand. We are going to have to make sacrifices to make change. I want to turn up and feel dignified.”

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette

Many actresses silently jumped with joy in unison when Arquette took to the Oscar stage this year to speak up against the gender wage gap. “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. 

It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” were the words of her now-famous speech, which immediately received a strong show of support on social media and otherwise.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

The talented actress made headlines earlier this year when it was reported that she negotiated to be paid the same as her male co-star Chris Hemsworth. The initial pay gap was about 10 million dollars. She also spoke out in support of Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence saying that “they’re as good as any of the guys out there”.

Gwyneth Paltrow

In an almost poignant statement, the actress equated being paid less than a male co-star as ‘painful’. “Your salary is a way to quantify what you’re worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing it feels sh***y,” she said. She stated that though her co-star Robert Downey Jr was worth every penny and much more, if she disclosed the actual disparity in figures, it would leave everyone surprised.

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