12 times celebrities fought for equal pay in their starring roles

Dec 30, 2020
In The News

On January 1, 2018, spurred by the revelation of Harvey Weinstein’s widespread sexual misconduct and the #MeToo movement, celebrities came together to protest sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination in Hollywood and beyond. They founded a movement of their own called Time’s Up to fight for safer workplaces and equal pay in the entertainment industry.

Even before the Time’s Up movement, women in Hollywood have spoken out about being paid less than their male co- stars. Sometimes, they have been able to negotiate fair compensation. Other times, they didn’t even know they were being paid less until after the fact.

Here are 12 times actors fought for the equal pay they deserved.

Even after Patricia Arquette’s viral Oscars acceptance speech, in which she called out America’s gender pay gap, she told The Daily Beast that she’s still offered less for her work than men.

Arquette’s 2015 Oscars acceptance speech galvanised women everywhere to demand equal pay.

“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” she said to thunderous applause.

She took her activism to Capitol Hill, as well. In 2016, Arquette marked Equal Pay Day with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D- NY) by highlighting the results of a Congressional report that found women make $US10,800 less per year than men. She also testified in front of the House Judiciary Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee about the Equal Rights Amendment in 2019.

Still, Arquette finds herself fighting for equal pay in her acting work.

“I’ve walked away from several jobs because they were giving me really bullsh** deals that were really sh**** and different from men in a really f***** up way,” she told The Daily Beast in 2018.