Since the first series aired in 2016, Stranger Things has been praised as one of the best shows on television. And not just because the Eighties-set sci-fi horror is well written, bone-chilling and satisfyingly nostalgic: people are huge fans of its bevy of strong female characters who refuse to conform to the norm.
So, when we learned that the wages of the show’s talented child stars had been published, we were all ears, especially in the wake of the UK’s row over the wage gap at the BBC: does the Netflix show continue to promote its feminist values behind the scenes?
Well, apparently so.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that only a third of the BBC’s top earners are women – and that its highest-paid male star, Chris Evans, earned a whopping £2.2 million last year. In comparison, the highest-paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, made £450,000.
It was a shockingly huge disparity, there’s no doubt about it. And yet, sadly, the news was not all that surprising: in the UK alone, the gender pay gap is currently at 18.1% – the lowest on record.
Things are different in Hawkins/the ‘Upside Down’, however: according to The Hollywood Reporter, sources say Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Noah Schnapp (Will) and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) make the exact same amount each episode.
For those wondering, that comes out at $30,000 each (approximately £22,800), which means that they each banked a cheque for around $270,000 (approx. £205,000) this season alone.
That’s a lot more pocket money than we ever made as teens.
Read more: The 21 best feminist TV shows of 2017
To be honest, we’d expect nothing less from the show which gave us Eleven, aka the feminist badass we’ve all been waiting for.
This is the same young girl who from the beginning of season one takes back her life from a man intent on controlling her for his own personal gain. A character who refuses to allow gender to rule her or determine how she interacts with the world (or the boys she meets in it). Who fights against gender stereotypes without even knowing that she is; she’s never told that she’s considered less, and so she never is less. Who harnesses her own incredible powers to save the whole damn world from certain destruction.
(And who eats as many Eggos as she damn well pleases.)
Eleven wasn’t alone, either: we also had Joyce (Winona Ryder), who refused to stop fighting or searching for her son, no matter how many people told her to. There was Nancy (Natalia Dyer), who owned her sexuality and wasn’t prepared to let anyone slut-shame her for her decisions. And, this season, they were joined by the likes of Linnea Berthelsen and Sadie Sink, both playing characters who at some point decide to shape their own lives regardless of those attempting to limit them.
All in all, it’s a seriously great show for female empowerment – which is exactly what womankind needs right now.
And the cast are reportedly signed up for six years, meaning there’s ever more to look forward to.
Images: Rex Features