Bradley Cooper Just Took a Bold Stance Against Hollywood Sexism

October 17th 2015

Laura Donovan

Many actresses have recently shared their experiences with gender pay gap, and now actor Bradley Cooper is taking action to counter pay inequality in the entertainment industry.

His repeated costar Jennifer Lawrence recently went viral for an essay she penned about the Hollywood pay gap in Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's newsletter, Lenny. In the piece, she writes that last year's Sony hack was particularly devastating because it revealed that her "American Hustle" male costars, including Cooper, made millions more than she and female lead Amy Adams, who received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for the film. (Lawrence was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress.)

Cooper agrees this is unacceptable, telling Reuters in a new interview that he's challenging the Hollywood pay gap by "teaming up with female costars to negotiate salaries before any film he is interested in working on goes into production." He said the pay gap problem at large is a big one but that he wants to make whatever difference he can.

"I don't know where it's changing otherwise but that's something that I could do," Cooper said, adding that money can be an uncomfortable thing to discuss but needs to be broached nonetheless. "Usually you don't talk about the financial stuff, you have people. But you know what? It's time to start doing that."

The actor said he was furious to learn that Adams only received 7 percent of backend compensation for "American Hustle" while he and male costars, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale each got 9 percent.

"She worked everyday on that movie and got paid nothing," he said. "It's really horrible actually, it's almost embarrassing. [She] should have been paid more than everybody."

The bright side, he said, was that Lawrence's essay may pave the way for "people like Amy to also speak up."

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

As Lawrence acknowledges in her Lenny piece, as a millionaire she is more privileged than most women, but it does speak to the larger issue of the pay gap and prove that it impacts many different 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. During the spring. 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