Nobody should be surprised that Reese Witherspoon is such a Renaissance woman in her industry—simultaneously acting, producing great projects for women, and running an intimidatingly preppy lifestyle brand—given the actor’s forte is playing women who do the most. So of course she’s going to help fix pay discrepancies at HBO.
What, like it’s hard?
In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, president of programming at HBO Casey Bloys credited Witherspoon and the Time’s Up movement with changing the way the network does business and, more specifically, fixing pay issues:
One of the things that’s come out of thinking about the movement and some conversations with Reese, who’s really at the forefront, is something we’ve done recently. We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows—in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay; and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward. And that’s a direct result of the Time’s Up movement.
“When you’re putting a show together, people come in with different levels of experience and maybe some people have won awards or something that makes them stand out,” he explained. “But when you get into season two or three of a show and the show is a success, it is much harder to justify paying people wildly disparate numbers.” Though when asked to name a series that required corrections, Bloys just laughed and declined.
The success of Big Little Lies, which was optioned by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, who then brought the project to HBO, can not be understated in terms of how it’s changed the direction of what the network is doing. It seems to have had a serious domino effect there, ushering in new drama series like the Elena Ferrante adaptation My Brilliant Friend and the Amy Adams-starring Gillian Flynn adaptation Sharp Objects, as well as projects from women like Misha Green and Sally Wainwright, to name just a few. I guess complicated, fleshed-out, women characters make for really incredible television. Who knew?!