Recently, Jennifer Lawrence penned a powerful essay decrying the Hollywood wage gap in Lena Dunham’s “Lenny” newsletter, titled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?" Leaked emails from the Sony hacks revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was paid substantially less than her male "American Hustle" costars, a problem throughout the industry which Lawrence, in part, attributes to not being a tough enough negotiator at the time. “I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! F– that,” she concludes. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard.”
Now, many of Lawrence’s peers are chiming in with support for her message. At yesterday’s “Crimson Peak” premiere, Jessica Chastain said she was “proud” of Lawrence, adding that “there’s no excuse” for women to be paid less than their male counterparts.
“There’s no reason why she should be doing a film with other actors and get paid less than her male co-stars,” Chastain explained. "It’s completely unfair. It’s not right. It’s been happening for years and years and years. I think it’s brave to talk about it. I think everyone should talk about it.”
“What I really appreciate is that it’s not just women,” she continued. “It’s men and women and all groups talking about how we need more diversity and more equality in American cinema. I don’t know what’s happening. We’re supposed to be a mirror that’s held up to society and tells the story of what’s happening around us. And sometimes the American film industry only tells the stories of a few and I don’t want my story to be erased. I want to see women out there and I want them to be equally compensated for the work that they do.”
Added her co-star Mia Wasikowska, “It’s about time that gap was closed and it’s still quite surprising that it’s still an issue.”
Lawrence’s “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook” costar Bradley Cooper also recently shared his support for Lawrence, telling E! News that "If you think that you only deserve a certain amount and that's not correct, it's about changing that mindset and sticking up for yourself the way that [Burnt co-star] Sienna [Miller] did."
Miller explained that she was forced to walk away from a theatrical role because she was offered half what her male costar was given. "[I did] what we have to start doing, unfortunately, at the expense of our creative dreams," she explained.
"There’s a double standard in the whole world, yeah, for sure,” Cooper added. "This is just one aspect. Anytime there’s a place where a voice can come out and be outspoken — something Sienna did, or Jennifer — that’s great… I think it is making a difference.”
A chorus of other stars have also voiced their support for Lawrence on Twitter:
The wage gap has been a hot topic of discussion since Patricia Arquette’s iconic 2015 Oscar speech, but having one of our most beloved and successful young actresses leading the charge might be the rallying cry Hollywood needs to really make some meaningful changes.
Thanks for volunteering as tribute,
Katniss J. Law. Three-fingered salutes all round.