Hilary Swank wins two Oscars, still offered 5% of a male co-star’s wage

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Amy Swales

The conversation about the Hollywood wage gap continues, as more and more big names reveal the sexism they have faced in the industry.

Now Hilary Swank, a multi-award-winning actor, has revealed that even her star power doesn’t match up to the might of simply having a penis.

Speaking on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show Chelsea, Swank says following her two Best Actress Oscars – for 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry and 2004’s Million Dollar Baby – she was offered a part in a film playing opposite a man who “hadn’t had any kind of critical success”.

In the clip, which you can watch below, Swank doesn't name the actor or the film, but says he had been offered a hefty $10 million (approximately £8.1 million) pay cheque, while she (did we mention she had two Oscars at this point? Two?) was offered 5% of that.

She says: “I win my second Academy Award and the next couple of movies later, I get offered a movie.

“The male [lead] hadn’t had any kind of critical success but had been in a movie where he was ‘hot’ and he got offered $10 million and I got offered $500,000 [approximately £400,000].”

After general incredulity from her fellow guests, she continues: “So I said no and they went and found a newcomer who did it for $50,000.”

Yes, $500,000 is still obviously a lot of money, but the gender-based wage gap there can be seen from space.

During the discussion, fellow guest Ava DuVernay also talks about her experience directing hit film Selma, saying: “I was the seventh director they asked. All the men before me said no.”

Doing great, Hollywood.

Main image: Netflix


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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