The recent public awareness around the wage gap in film and TV seems to be having an effect, as studios move to rectify years of institutional sexism and unfair pay standards. Naturally, this is fantastic news. What sucks for the women in Hollywood is learning precisely how much more the men have been making, and having to reconcile that sobering fact for oneself.
Such was the realization for our favorite Westworld host Thandie Newton. Citing Times Up as a motivating factor, HBO recently closed the wage gap for men and women in lead roles in the network’s shows, which means Newton is now getting a salary equal to that of her co-star Ed Harris and his multitudinous face wrinkles. Newton says the difference in pay was a rude awakening.
From The Guardian:
“When I first discovered how much they were offering it made me realise ‘oh my God, men have been paid so much more.’ I had to have a big swallow of resentment. I gave it half an hour and then felt grateful. Every year I go into a new production or a new season of Westworld and I don’t think to ask for more, I just feel so grateful to be working. But we need to expect more for ourselves.”
In March, the Netflix costume drama The Crown stumbled into its own pay gap crisis of its own, when it was revealed that Matt Smith made more money than Claire Foy, the woman who played the titular role and did much of the heavy lifting on the show. The problem was rectified, and it’s setting a precedent for the rest of the industry to correct their mistakes.