Justice

Jennifer Lawrence Speaks out About Hollywood's Gender Pay Gap

October 13th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Actress Jennifer Lawrence confronts the well-known gender pay gap in Hollywood in a new essay for Lenny, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's newsletter.

Lawrence, whom Forbes declared the highest paid actress in the world in 2015, opens her piece by acknowledging that her financial and personal situation isn't relatable to most people. But when Sony was hacked last year and she learned how much more her male costars were making, the Academy Award-winning performer became upset with herself for not lobbying for higher pay.

Jennifer Lawrence at Comic-Con in 2013

"When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony," Lawrence writes. "I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me)."

The actress adds that she might not have asked for as much money as she felt she deserved out of fear of being liked. Research has shown many women don't negotiate for this very reason and also because it can hurt a woman's professional prospects.

"I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being 'difficult' or 'spoiled,'" she says. "I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? We’ve only been able to vote for what, 90 years?"

Lawrence concludes by saying she's never going to worry about trying to find a cute way to lobby for herself ever again.

"I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable!" she writes. "Fuck that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. 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."

Earlier this year, ATTN: wrote about the Hollywood gender pay gap and saw a huge difference between the earnings of Robert Downey, Jr., the highest paid actor in the world, and Lawrence, the highest paid actress in the world. Downey still earned $80 million compared to Lawrence's $52 million.

Highest paid actor vs. highest paid actress

As Lawrence notes in Lenny, her problem isn't exactly relatable to most, but it shows that the pay gap at large is a problem in many fields. Women earn an average of 77 cents to every dollar that men make, according to the National Women's Law Center, and the pay gap is even larger for minority women and women in certain areas of the U.S. Earlier this year, the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) published a report that found it will take another 43 years for the pay gap to end.

For more on the pay gap, watch ATTN:'s video on the issue.

 
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Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, March 25, 2015