Jennifer Lawrence has finally addressed the gender pay gap (which greatly affected her and Amy Adams, as revealed during the Sony hack).
The Academy Award winner penned a post for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?”, and said that while her experience losing out on millions isn’t exactly “relatable,” it’s a discriminatory practice that happens to women at every single salary level and is part of a larger problem – widespread gender inequality.
“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,” she wrote, referring to her “American Hustle” contract. “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. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me).
“But if I’m honest with myself, 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,” she continued. “I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.'”
The actress said she didn’t realize the degree to which she was getting taken advantage of until hacked Sony e-mails revealed the huge discrepancy between her paycheck and that of co-stars Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale. (It should be noted that Jennifer is an Oscar winner, as is Christian, while Bradley and Jeremy are not.)
“At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,'” she wrote. “This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But 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? We’ve only been able to vote for what, 90 years?” she continued. “… Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t ‘offend’ or ‘scare’ men?”
JLaw said the discrimination must end for all women, and vowed to stop worrying about presenting her opinions in a watered-down, meek manner.
“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! F**k that. 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,” she wrote. “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.”
Adding, “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.”
Jennifer joins a long line of celebrities who’ve recently spoken out against gender inequality, including Shonda Rhimes, Salma Hayek, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Watson, Oprah Winfrey, Matt McGorry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Garner, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geena Davis and Meryl Streep, who told BBC News last week that she still (after three Oscar wins and a record 19 nominations) gets paid less than her male co-stars.
“I experience [sexism] and I become a tiny bit enraged,” the “Suffragette” star said. “It’s not just show business; it is in every single enterprise… Women are graduating from film schools, law schools and medical schools in equal numbers as men but they are shut out when they get to the leadership positions.”
— Erin O’Sullivan
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