It’s no secret that women are paid far less than men in Hollywood: over the years, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Sienna Miller, Emily Blunt, Hillary Swank, Diane Kruger, and many more famous, talented actors have come forward to say that they have never been paid as much as a male co-star.
And, although the pay gap problem occurs in every industry, the stats are particularly astounding in Hollywood.
“Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar,” Portman previously explained. “In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”
So how can we go about changing this statistic? Well, it takes a lot of perseverance and willingness to speak up, of course. And, ideally, it takes the men of the film industry to acknowledge the need for parity, and work to do something about it.
Emma Stone, who has acted alongside the likes of Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, Andrew Garfield, and Jonah Hill, has revealed that an overwhelming number of her male co-stars have taken a pay cut on her behalf, in a bit to ensure that they all make the same wage on a project.
“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,” Stone explained to Out magazine.
“And that’s something they do for me because they feel it’s what’s right and fair. That’s something that’s also not discussed, necessarily – that our getting equal pay is going to require people to selflessly say, ‘That’s what’s fair.’”
Stone, who plays female tennis star Billie Jean King in the upcoming Battle of the Sexes film, added: “If my male co-star, who has a higher quote than me but believes we are equal, takes a pay cut so that I can match him, then that changes my quote in the future and changes my life.
“And this is Billie Jean’s feminism and I love it – she is equality, man: equality, equality, equality.”
Stone finishes by saying: “It's not about, ‘Women are this and men are that.’ It is, ‘We are all the same, we are all equal, we all deserve the same respect and the same rights.’
“And that's really what I've been so grateful for with male co-stars – when I've been in a similar-size role in films, and it's been multiple people who have been really incredible and said, ‘That's what I want to do. That's what's fair and what's right’.”
Stone is not the first actor to benefit from forward-thinking co-stars: it was recently reported that the five original cast members of The Big Bang Theory were taking a pay cut in order to help two of their female co-stars get raises.
According to Variety, Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh) and Simon Helberg (Howard) each offered to drop their pay from $1 million (approximately £814,000) per episode to $900,000 (£732,000).
The money saved would be split between Mayim Bialik (who plays Amy) and Melissa Rauch (who plays Bernadette) – who currently earn $200,000 (£163,000) per episode and joined the show in the third series.
Images: Rex Features