Actor writes fierce essay saying she’s had it with industry sexism and pay gap
NEW YORK: Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Lawrence has said she’s had it with trying to be ‘adorable’ when it comes to sexism in Hollywood and equal pay for women.
In a no-holds barred attack on the Hollywood wage gap on Tuesday, the Hunger Games star said that in the past she worried about being labelled a spoiled brat when negotiating movie deals. But men do not have that problem, she said in an essay for the Lenny newsletter produced by Girls writer and director Lena Dunham.
Lawrence, 25, found out through leaked Sony Pictures emails last year that she had been paid millions less than any of her three male co-stars in the 2013 movie American Hustle. “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early,” Lawrence wrote.
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The actor said she did not want to come across at the time as difficult or spoiled “until I saw the payroll on the internet and realised every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’.”
According to Forbes, Lawrence was the world’s highest-paid female actor in film last year, with an estimated $52 million in earnings from movies and endorsements. While Lawrence may be the biggest Hollywood earner among women, she came nowhere near the estimated $80-million payday for Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr, according to the magazine.
But her fierce essay on Tuesday, titled ‘Why Do These Dudes Make More Than Me?’ reflects a more combative attitude by Hollywood’s biggest female stars. “I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable … 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,” she wrote.
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Meryl Streep told the BBC last week that she too gets paid less than her male co-stars, while Boyhood actor Patricia Arquette used her Oscar acceptance speech in February to demand wage equality for all women.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.
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