LOS ANGELES. – Call it a “Barbie” bonanza: Margot Robbie, the star of the blockbuster film, is in line for a US$50 million payday, according to a report from Variety.
But while that is certainly good news for the 33-year-old, Australian-born actress, it doesn’t seemingly change one harsh reality for women in Hollywood — namely, the fact that they generally make far less money than their male counterparts.
“There is a wage gap that persists through time,” said Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez, a senior lecturer in economics at England’s University of Manchester.
Sanchez has studied the issue in the film industry — she and a fellow researcher did a detailed analysis of what more than 250 actors were paid — and she told MarketWatch that the gap between men and women in Hollywood is “not converging at the same rate” as it is in other industries,
Consider that in a 2022 analysis by Insider of Hollywood’s 27 biggest all-time paydays, just three women made the list: Sandra Bullock (US$70 million for “Gravity”), Cameron Diaz (US$42 million for “Bad Teacher”) and Emma Stone (US$26 million for “La La Land”).
And as impressive as Robbie’s US$50 million take may seem, it still puts the actress far behind Tom Cruise, who took home US$100 million-plus for “Top Gun: Maverick,” and Will Smith, who made US$100 million for his work in “Men in Black 3,” among other top earners.
There have also been notorious stories of pay discrepancies between men and women appearing in the same film.
One of the most noted examples: Michelle Williams reportedly earned less than US$1,000 for her work reshooting scenes in the 2017 film “All the Money in World” (yes, an ironic title given the situation); by contrast, her costar, Mark Wahlberg, made US$1.5 million for the equivalent reshooting work.
Williams testified to Congress in 2019 about the situation, saying, “This came as no surprise to me, it simply reinforced my life-learned belief that equality is not an inalienable right.”
Other prominent actresses have expressed similar frustrations. Last year, Jennifer Lawrence, who reportedly earned US$5 million less than her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio for her work in the 2021 film “Don’t Look Up,” to Vogue.
Of course, the gender pay-gap issue is hardly unique to Hollywood, even if the film industry is often held up as among the worst examples of wage inequality.
An analysis by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of 2021 government data found that women took home 77 cents for every dollar that men earned. – MSN.