Battle of the Sexes: The Gender Pay Gap

Emma Stone has recently revealed to the media that her co-stars in the up and coming film ‘Battle of the Sexes’ have taken a pay cut to ensure she received an equal rate of pay to her male co-stars. Ironically, the film is based on the legendary tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in which King won after Riggs had taunted female tennis players claiming they were ‘inferior’. Miss Stone said: “In my career so far, I’ve needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them”. In this day and age, female movie stars that are not being paid as much as their male counterparts, even for leading roles, is truly diabolical.

In 2014, it was Sony that was thrown into the spotlight when Jennifer Lawrence, another leading lady was shocked to discover she was getting paid less than her male co-stars. This was the time of American Hustle and from the film profits her and Amy Adams received just 7% where Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale and all the other male stars, including the director, received 9%.

She said that she was to blame not the studio, she said: “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d****, 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.”

Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle  Credit: BusinessInsider

After this outrageous outcome, Jennifer opened up about herself and how she felt about the pay gap and the inequality that still exists, she wrote an article on Lenny Letter named ‘Jennifer Lawrence: “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?’. If you want to know more you should go and read it for yourself, but she opens up about trying to be less “adorable” and more “aggressive” towards this issue and when she did this her male workers were shocked and said they were all on the same team. What a crazy sentiment to make unequal pay when women are still fighting to be heard.

Lawrence revealed that Sony leaked another comment about her and her newfound gusto: ‘Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a “spoiled brat.” For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.’

A list made by Forbes in 2016 showed the ten highest paid actresses in Hollywood earned £159m between them which is less than half the sum earned by the male stars.

The hugely successful cast of Big Bang Theory. Credit: HelloGiggles

And, it isn’t just film that has been in the media for unequal pay, most of you will have heard of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ a show on CBS that has been on air for just under ten years. The five original cast members of the show made the decision to take $100,000 pay cuts in order to help their co-stars, who play Amy and Bernadette, receiving equal pay. Although these two co-stars were not originally in the main group, they have grown throughout the series to be vital parts in the sitcom. So why should they be paid any less than their co-stars?

Women have fought for equality for thousands of years but the battles keep on coming, maybe one day the closed doors of secrecy will open up and we can see what’s really happening with unequal pay and gender inequality, not only in entertainment but in all workplace sectors.

‘Battle of the Sexes’ is set for cinema release on the 22nd of September of 2017 and honestly we cannot wait to see this film as it’s based on the very “male chauvinistic” climate of 1973, where Billie Jean King stood up against the show clown of Bobby Riggs, defeating him in a game of tennis. Hooray!

<Story by Sophie Ogden>

Featured Photo Credit: IndieWire

Watch the trailer for Battle of the Sexes

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