Equal pay shouldn't be such a debate in 2016. It's obvious to anyone who supports gender equality that women should be paid the same as a man for working the same job, but somehow females are still lagging behind in the payscale by around 14%. In fact, for the last two months of the year, women might as well work for free, because that's what the wage gap evens out to.
If you think the problem doesn’t affect the A-listers, think again. Here’s what nine celebrities had to say about ending unequal pay for good.
She might be a badass in Netflix's House of Cards, but it was only recently that Robin Wright got her fair cut from the show. Speaking at an event hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation, Wright revealed 'I was like, 'I want to be paid the same as Kevin [Spacey]. It was a perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in House of Cards. I was looking at statistics and Claire Underwood's character was more popular than [Frank's] for a period of time. So I capitalized on that moment. I was like, 'You better pay me, or I'm going to go public - And they did'.
Jessica is so over being grateful for roles that bank her male co-stars more than her own wages. Speaking to The Guardian, Jessica was all about demanding the wages you think you deserve, and that you shouldn't accept less just because you think you're lucky to get a certain role: '[Former Sony exec] Amy Pascal said actresses need to stop being grateful. So I’m testing that out! There have been situations where I have lost movies because I’ve said, this is not a fair deal, and I’ve walked away'.
Tuesday, April 12, the date that symbolizes how far into the year white women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. African American women have to work to Aug. 23. For Native American women, Sept. 13. If you’re Latina, your Equal Pay Day isn’t until Nov. 1!!! #equalpayday #WTFarewedoingaboutthis?!
Jessica is also standing up for women of colour in the fight for equal pay. While white women would have to work an extra three and a half months to earn back what their male counterparts get paid, this drags on to 8 months for African American women, 9 months for Native American women and a whole 11 months for Latina women. Just in case we needed to say it, that's not cool.
Kristen Stewart's comments on equal pay in 2015 came as quite a surprise. Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival, Stewart told an interviewer "Guys make more money because their movies make more money. It makes sense". Wait - we're not sure how we feel about this. Jennifer Lawrence starred in two films in 2015, and Robert Downey Jr featured in one, yet Robert pocketed $80million compared to Jennifer’s earnings of $52million. Care to explain yourself, Kristen?
"Like in any business that's so old, it's going to have a somewhat narrow view. It's awkward, I'm so lucky and so stimulated and driven, like not bored, and I have something in front of me all the time. It sounds weird for me to sit around and be like, It's not fair! If you're bored, or if you feel like there's a lack of something in front of you, it's silly for me to say, 'Go do something' ... Instead of sitting around and complaining about that, do something".
Yes, Carey Mulligan! Speaking out in support of Jennifer Lawrence, Carey told Deadline magazine that "I think it's a good thing for someone like Jennifer to speak out; it means an awful lot to women. She has an enormous platform to speak out - men in Hollywood look up to her because she is powerful. She's using that platform to correct somethint that isn't right". Carey also thinks it's high time for the "age old issue" to be sorted out, something she knows a lot about after her latest film role in Suffragette.
Imagine what it would be like to have Julia speak about you like this… 'I applaud her,' she said on Good Morning America talking about J-Law, 'She's a young, fabulous, talented whippersnapper and I love that she's stirring things up.' Julia continued: 'I mean, she's so energetic and seems to speak her mind, and I think it's great. I think it's great to kind of shake things up. I think it's great to go, ‘Excuse me. Over here.’ I know something now and I'm frustrated by it and why is this?'' Ultimate babe alert.
J-Law, we love you. Leaked e-mails revealed that Jennifer and co-star Amy Adams were being paid significantly less than Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale for their roles in American Hustle, Jennifer got mad: “when the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d*cks, I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share, but I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable!”
We have to salute Bradley Cooper for his response to the whole saga. He told Reuters that he wanted to start teaming up with his female co-stars before signing on to any films, to make sure women are getting a fair deal: “Usually you don’t talk about the financial stuff, you have people. But you know what? It’s time to start doing that.”
We never thought we’d see this name in the mix – even Hollywood legend Meryl Streep says she faces unequal pay, and fought back by writing a letter to each and every member of American congress (that’s 535 in total) urging them to “stand up for equality - for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself – by actively supporting the equal rights amendment”. She continued to say “it’s about everyone being open and men giving us a hand too”.
Charlize Theron fought her corner when she negotiated an equal wage to Liam Hemsworth for her turn in Snow White And The Huntsman. On asking for the raise, she said “I have to give them credit because once I asked, they said yes. They did not fight it. And maybe that’s the message: That we just need to put our foot down. If you’re doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way”.
A hugely vocal activist for equal rights, Emma Watson professed her love for Jennifer Lawrence over Twitter after the American Hustle pay-gap scandal. When delivering her seminal He For She speech to the UN, Emma said “I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men." Here, here!
Beyonce might come under fire for her take on feminism, but we can’t fault what she said about the need for men to fight for equal pay for women. “Today women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect".
For more life inspiration, get motivated by these 26 inspirational quotes from our favourite famous females