Mamma Mia! star says there is a long way to go to close the gender pay gap in Hollywood
Amanda Seyfried has revealed she was paid a 10th of the wage her male co-star received for an unnamed big-budget movie, at a time when both were well-known names in Hollywood.
The star of the films Mamma Mia!, Mean Girls and Ted 2 told the Sunday Times there is a long way to go before gender pay disparity in the film industry can be considered a thing of the past. “A few years ago, on one of my big-budget films, I found I was being paid 10% of what my male co-star was getting, and we were pretty even in status,” she told the newspaper.
“I think people think that just because I’m easy-going and game to do things I’ll just take as little as they offer … It’s not about how much you get, it’s about how fair it is,” she said, adding that female actors in particular “have to decide if you’re willing to walk away from something”.
Seyfried joins a growing list of actors who have complained about pay inequality in Hollywood. During her acceptance speech for best supporting actress at this year’s Oscars, Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette said: “It’s time to have wage equality once and for all.”
Last December, hackers who had got into the email system at studio Sony revealed wide disparity between the pay of men and women in Hollywood. Male stars Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper were paid 9% of the profits from the film American Hustle, while Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence each received 7% – despite the fact that Lawrence was an Oscar-winner.
In May, in the wake of the Sony email hacks, Oscar-winner Charlize Theron described engineering a $10m (£6.4m) pay increase to put her on par with her co-star Chris Hemsworth for the forthcoming Snow White prequel The Huntsman. “I thought about the temperature out there – with finding out what Jennifer [Lawrence] and Amy [Adams] were being paid on a set with guy actors who are their counterparts … They’re just as good as any of the guys on there,” she said. “Yeah, that pissed me off.”
Twilight star Kristen Stewart and Far from the Madding Crowd’s Carey Mulligan have described Hollywood as, respectively, “disgustingly” and “massively” sexist. More recently, Rose McGowan made headlines after railing via Twitter at a casting note calling for actors to show off their cleavage with push-up bras for an unspecified Adam Sandler film. She later revealed that she had been fired by her acting agency following the furore.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Monday 13th July 2015 15.05 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010