When the Sony hack revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars for American Hustle, Hollywood got nervous, because execs knew they’d be called out on their BS. Lawrence was quiet about it until last week, when she penned an essay in problematic feminist Lena Dunham’s blog. An excerpt:
It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relatable. When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d*cks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. 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).
But if I’m honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.” At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.” This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue.
Since Jennifer Lawrence spoke her mind, other stars have followed suit.
O Jennifer Lawrence I love you so. X
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) October 13, 2015
I love Jennifer Lawrence. http://t.co/x2jAbnUsmy
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) October 13, 2015
Yessssssss! Get it girl xx https://t.co/L3w0nNnqGQ
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 13, 2015
Lawrence isn’t the only star to speak out about making less money than her male counterparts. Sienna Miller walked away from a production when she learned that her male co-stars were making significantly more money than she was, explaining, “[I did] what we have to start doing, unfortunately, at the expense of our creative dreams.”
We need to stop settling. We need to start negotiating. When there are no women left to work for peanuts, especially in Hollywood, people will finally start listening.