Remember that whole wage gap story Jennifer Lawrence told about getting paid less than her male co-stars for her work in the grossly overrated Oscar bait that was American Hustle? Yeah, it turns out, it may not necessarily have been sexism at play there. Deadline reports:
Everybody on that particularly [sic] film worked for heavy discount to make the numbers work. By the time Lawrence was brought in by her Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell to round out that stellar cast, deals were done with other cast members. And then they were changed, as several others gave up back end pieces to make things more palatable to Lawrence, who worked a lot fewer days than most everybody else. I’m told that Lawrence worked 19 days and was paid $1.25 million and got $250,000 in deferred compensation. She also got seven points in a back end pool that kicked in after cash break zero. Christian Bale worked 45 days for $2.5 million upfront and nine points; Bradley Cooper worked 46 days for $2.5 million and nine points. Amy Adams got $1.25 million and seven points for working 45 days, so if anyone has a beef, it would be her. I’m told that Bale and Cooper each gave a point from their back ends to bring Lawrence up. Russell also gave up some back end and so did Sony and financier Annapurna Pictures, to make the formula work.
Add to that the fact that Jennifer Lawrence admitted she never bothered negotiating for a better deal and her entire story starts to fall apart.
Here’s what’s frustrating about the gender wage gap in Hollywood: It exists. It shouldn’t exist, but it does. As a result, when a story comes out that a female is paid less than a male for the same job, we want to rally around her. But in this case, Jennifer Lawrence, like Sarah Silverman before her, has a story that just doesn’t necessarily hold up to fact-checking. That, in turn, does a disservice to the rest of us who actually hustle, negotiate, and do work that’s equal to or better than our male peers for equal or less pay. Does this mean stars should shut up about feminist issues and the wage gap? Of course not. But they should have their stories straight before they deliver specific anecdotes that destroy their credibility, because any holes will screw over the cause for the rest of it.
Now if Amy Adams, an actual lead in the movie, wants to vent? The world is all ears.