How Can Hollywood Normalize Equal Pay?


Keana Saberi, Reporter

Throughout the course of Hollywood’s not so humble beginnings to the now well-established franchise, the discussion of equal pay has been a withstanding issue that continues to waver as the rate of an actor’s pay versus the pay of the same level of advancement actress is an astounding unbalanced ratio.

In one harsh and quite recent example, during the reshoots of the 2017 film ” All The Money In The World” while reshooting many of the film’s major scenes in a rush before the movie’s premiere ( due to casting change because of sexual harassment and the replacement of Kevin Spacey by Christopher Plummer ) Michelle Williams, the film’s leading lady  made a shocking and slim amount of 80 dollars  a day ( which totaled to just under 1,000 dollars at the end of shooting)  for the reshoots while her co-star Mark Wahlberg made a whopping  amount compared to Williams, an amount of nearly 1.5 million dollars. Though Wahlberg soon donated his pay to the  Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Williams’ name, the damage, it seemed was already done. Williams never even knew the pay disparity between her costar and herself until the information was leaked from private sources.

For people of color, the argument is much steeper. Octavia Spencer, a highly talented and rising actress also released her hidden emotions when discussing her profits over her recent films and fellow actress and friend  Jessica Chastain spoke out against the pay disparity they experienced. Both stars feel extremely passionate and Chastain is not only raising her voice but putting her words into action. Spencer has come out to say that Chastain recently helped her strive to make more on her recent film. Spencer was clear in expressing her thoughts and the realities she has noticed, that even though women make much less than men, women of color make even less the white women.Spencer recalled a conversation she had with Chastain about this untapped and raw truth in a recent interview saying:  “I said, ‘But here’s the thing, women of color on that spectrum, we make far less than white women, So, if we’re gonna have that conversation about pay equity, we gotta bring the women of color to the table.” Chastain then learned of this blemished fact, and from then on she felt even more determined to aid Octavia Spencer into making equal pay. Together they are a duo fighting for equal pay and quite frankly are inspirations to many other actresses in the Hollywood field.

Many actresses are continuing the discussion of gaining equal pay by raising awareness on the contrast of pay contracts as well as furthering the contribution of the Time’s up movement and advocating equal pay outside the Hollywood workplace ( in other common jobs and communities). As well as these rough realities, Hollywood is making improvements, though they are still meager in contrast. Nina Shaw, an attorney and one of Time’s up founding members estimated that her clients have recently made 30% more income in the last year in a pilot season than in years before.
Though things are far from great, activists and advocates are doing their best to see change. As quoted by Emma Watson, an activist, and actress ” The reality is that if we do nothing, it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work.”

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