Actress Eleanor Tomlinson has called for equal pay to her male co-star, Aidan Turner, on BBC hit series Poldark.
Since we entered 2018 the gender pay gap has been hotly discussed like never before.
After the government demanded every company across the country (that employs more than 250 people) to publish their gender pay gap report, companies – from the entertainment to the fashion industry – are addressing how to close the gap.
Which is why some women are calling out their current employers on gender pay disparities – including Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson.
In a recent interview with Red Magazine, Tomlinson acknowledged that when Poldark first aired in 2015 Turner was a more established household name, so understandably was paid more than her. However, after the show’s success she believes they should both now be paid equally.
Tomlinson, who plays Demelza, guessed that she’s not currently being paid the same as her co-star when asked if she thought they were.
“My guess is no,” Tomlinson said. “And while at the beginning that might have been OK, he was a bigger star than me, now I don’t think so. We’re equal leads of the show, so I’d be pretty upset if the gap hadn’t closed.”
And it turns out her prediction was spot on as the BBC show’s producers, Mammoth Screen, have now released a more detailed statement.
It defended paying Turner more since he has “significantly more screen time than any other character”.
“Whilst we can’t and won’t disclose the details, we do pay Aidan Turner more for playing Ross Poldark as throughout all series Ross has significantly more screen time than any other character,” it said.
Tomlinson’s situation echoes that of The Crown’s Claire Foy. It was recently revealed that Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, was paid less than her male co-star, Matt Smith on the hit TV series. Initially, the producers justified the pay disparity due to Smith being more well-known due to his role in Doctor Who. However, the producers were heavily criticised and an online petition was launched. After receiving a public apology from the show’s producers, Netflix reportedly paid Foy £200,000 in back pay.
Poldark is due to return to the small screen next month for the highly anticipated fourth season. The show has also been commissioned for a fifth series.
You can read more about the gender pay gap here.