Jennifer Lawrence has lambasted Hollywood’s gender pay disparity in a powerful essay where she has finally opened up about the hacked Sony emails that revealed she was paid less than her male co-stars.
Lawrence’s tone is angry and contemplative as she reflects upon the way women are perceived in Hollywood power circles in the piece that she wrote for friend Lena Dunham’s ‘Lenny Letter’ newsletter.
The 25-year-old “Hunger Games” star said she had kept quiet because she avoids topics that are “trending”.
“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d***s, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need,” Lawrence wrote in the essay.
Questioning what could have led to her poor negotiating skills, Lawrence said perhaps she did not want to come across as someone who is “difficult” or “spoiled.”
“At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realised every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’ This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both,” she said.
Lawrence feels she is not the only one with the issue as women, perhaps out of habit, try to express themselves in a non-threatening manner, while men have no such issue.
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“All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive. I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable!”
The actress said her co-stars Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper managed to negotiate powerful deals for themselves without coming across as difficult or spoilt.
“If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share,” Lawrence said, adding she should not link it to her gender but she is not completely wrong.
Referring to another hacked email where producer Scott Rudin had called Angelina Jolie “minimally talented spoilt brat”, Lawrence wrote, “… but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a ‘spoiled brat.’ For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.”
Other notable voices that have come out against pay gap include actresses like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow and this year’s Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, who addressed the topic from the Academy stage.