It’s no news that women continue to be on the lower end of the pay spectrum in the workplace.
But it damn well should be news.
Especially when that women is considered more qualified or brings with her a wider variety of skills than her male colleagues. And especially when she is in the public eye, with the power and prestige to be a positive role model for gender equality.
And that is precisely why I am not okay with the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams got paid less than their male colleagues in American Hustle.
This week, a series of leaked Sony emails revealed that both Lawrence and Adams received a cool $2 million less than their male co-stars for their roles in the 2013 blockbuster.
The chain of correspondence, which was leaked by a collective hacking group known as Guardians of Peace, found evidence showing that actors Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper, along with director David Russell, all went home with no less than $9 million in hand.
The American Hustle cast. Via Instagram.
You see, it’s not just the indignity of the unequal pay packets. Lawrence and Adams were both judged their peers to have turned in superior performances.
Of the five key cast members, four of whom were each nominated for a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and an Academy Award, only Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were crowned winners. Jen took home a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Adams took home a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
So do these women deserve to be paid $2 million less than their male counterparts?
HELL NO! And that should be the case in point for the rest of us – regardless of our respective pay grades.
But sadly the leaked emails, of which there were thousands, also reveled pay gaps among Sony staff members.
A spreadsheet that listed the salaries of 6000 employees showed that, of the 17 workers who raked in more than $1 million each year, only one of them was female. Another discrepancy was found when comparing the salaries of the two co-presidents of Columbia Pictures, who both perform the same job. Michael De Luca takes home $2.4 million every year, but his female colleague only gets $1.5 million.
And Sony’s response to the whole fiasco?
Sony Pictures’ co-chair Amy Pascal summed it up pretty well in her reply to the email that pointed out Jen and Amy’s gender-pay discrepancy, simply writing “there is truth here.”
Indeed there is, Amy. Sadly, there is.