During the infamous 2014 Sony Pictures hack, lots of confidential information got released to the public, including salaries of actors working on American Hustle. The company’s PR nightmare turned into a widely discussed social issue regarding Hollywood’s gender pay gap. It was revealed that female stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were paid less than their male co-stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Renner.
At the time, this sparked debate and outrage all over social media and Hollywood. Jennifer Lawrence even wrote a lengthy piece about her thoughts and posted it publicly, which deserved much applause. Amy Adams kept silent at first, but the Sharp Objects actress and American Cinematheque awardee eventually spoke up about the issue as well. She made a fair point by saying that the tough questions about gender pay gap should be directed to Hollywood producers. They provide the numbers and attach prices to actors that will best fit their budget, so they should be on the hot seat. Bustle commended Adams for her insightful statement, because most of the time, the media focuses on women as if they hold the answer to the entire dilemma.
Adams also voice her opinions in Allure‘s April 2016 issue. Glamour quoted her revealing statements as she confessed, “I negotiated, and I tried to get paid as much [as Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper]. But I felt like if I kept pushing, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity,” she said. “So that’s on me.”
Her statement brought forth what a lot of other women around the world are not comfortable doing: negotiating pay and benefits. Adams is a talented actress who is frequently invited to awards shows and takes home plenty of recognition. She has already received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her craft has continually improved over the years. It begs the question as to why was she was not considered of the same value as her male co-stars in American Hustle.
Since the incident, more stars in Hollywood have contributed their two cents on the issue. Well and Good recently reported about Benedict Cumberbatch’s noble stand on refusing to accept a role if his female co-star is not paid the same amount. This takes some power away from producers’ hands and shows an act of solidarity among actors.
Other actresses are becoming increasingly outspoken as well. The Hollywood Reporter talked to Ellen Pompeo about fighting for a salary that she deserves. The Grey’s Anatomy star openly discussed figures to the media in the hopes of inspiring other women to do the same. The Time’s Up movement could help end gender pay gap as well by forging 300-strong women actors to fight against sexual harassment and discrimination in Hollywood. Time’s Up is the organization that received Mark Wahlberg’s $1.5-million dollar donation after netizens called him out for passively agreeing to a huge pay gap. That amount was his purported compensation for the reshoots of All the Money in the World, while his co-star, Michelle Williams, reportedly got only $1,000.
Evidently, women are slowly but surely making changes to an industry plagued with politics and inequality. Along with the initiative of Amy Adams and other influential actors, this gap may hopefully be closed for good sooner rather than later.