Justice

Why Scarlett Johansson Won't Take the Jennifer Lawrence Stance on Equal Pay

April 8th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

Scarlett Johansson is no stranger to taking strong stances on social issues, but she admitted in a recent Cosmopolitan interview that there's one issues she's afraid to discuss — the Hollywood pay gap.

Johansson argued that there's "something icky" about putting herself at the center of the equal pay conversation, for fears of coming off as a privileged celebrity.

"There's something icky about me having that conversation unless it applies to a greater whole," she told the publication. "I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I'm proud to be an actress who's making as much as many of my male peers at this stage."

She added that while "every woman" has been underpaid at some point, she doesn't want to come across as "obnoxious" by weighing in on the issue as a highly compensated actress.

"I think every woman has [been underpaid], but unless I'm addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious," she said. "It's part of a larger conversation about feminism in general."

Scarlett Johansson

This is a stark contrast to fellow actress Jennifer Lawrence's recent complaints about the Hollywood pay gap.

In an October essay for Lenny, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's newsletter, Lawrence divulged her personal struggles battling for equality as an actress. Lawrence wrote that she was upset with herself for failing to negotiate her pay after the Sony hack revealed she and co-star Amy Adams made less than their male co-stars in "American Hustle."

Jennifer Lawrence

"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 wrote, adding that she knows she isn't relatable as a rich actress. "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)."

She also wrote that women seem to worry about being "likable" more than men do in the workplace, another reason women don't negotiate for higher pay.

"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."

Read Johansson's full interview over at Cosmopolitan.