In a recent roundtable conversation with actresses put together by The Hollywood Reporter, the issue of the gender pay gap in the movie industry came up and Amy Adams had a strong opinion on how the topic is being covered by the media.
“Who you should be asking is the Producer Roundtable: ‘Do you think minorities are underrepresented? Do you think women are underpaid?'” she said. “We are always put on the chopping block to put our opinion out there, and that question is never asked. I’m like, ‘Why don’t you ask them and then have their statements be the headlines in the press?’ I don’t want to be a headline anymore about pay equality.”
This is on the heels of her “American Hustle” costar Jennifer Lawrence writing a piece for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter newsletter in 2015 in which she pointed out that she made less than her male costars on the movie.
Her piece motivated numerous actresses to also speak out about not receiving equal pay in their careers.
Business Insider asked Jessica Chastain on Friday if she felt the media should continue bringing up the gender pay gap in Hollywood with actresses.
“I love the article that Jennifer Lawrence wrote about the pay gap. I thought it was so important,” Chastain said while promoting her new movie “Miss Sloane” (which opens in limed release on Friday and nationwide December 9). “I love that people are talking about it. It makes sense that journalists are asking actresses and actors about it because, seriously, producers aren’t the ones doing press.”
Chastain said the revelation for her about the Hollywood gender pay gap came when she heard former Sony head Amy Pascal say in an interview that women get paid less in the industry because they don’t ask for more.
“I heard that and at first I got so offended and then I went, wait a minute, that’s probably true,” Chastain said. “I started reading a lot about it and you realise women don’t ask for more but they don’t ask for promotions, and knowing that I’ve completely changed.”
The actress now strives to make sure that she is being compensated for her work equally to her male costars.
“I’m so lucky to have this job, but what I do ask is when I join a production, I want to make sure that the male actor isn’t making four times my salary, which has been true, or seven times my salary,” she said. “If that’s true you go, ‘You know what, I don’t need this job.'”
Chastain said it’s important for actors to continue the conversation because they are the most visible in Hollywood, but she stresses the issue cuts much deeper.
“We have to look at why society is telling women to not show up over-prepared, not to be treated equal,” she said, touching on the first presidential debate for which the criticism about Hillary Clinton was that she was over-prepared. “Why don’t they say that about men? What’s wrong with trying hard and showing up and being good at your job? We really need to look at ourselves and say we need to reevaluate this. We need to reevaluate women who ask for a pay raise or ask for a promotion. It’s actually an ok thing. It’s ok to be ambitious, it’s ok to be over-prepared.”
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