Jessica Chastain Speaks Out About The Gender Pay Gap

UPDATE: Following Jennifer Lawrence’s recent attack on Hollywood’s pay gap, Jessica Chastain, 38, has opened up about how much money she actually made for her recent movie. “Someone wrote an article once that said I made a certain amount of money for The Martian,” she said on HuffPost Live.“I made less than a quarter of that in reality.” She added: “For me, it’s wonderful that people are starting to talk about the wage gap and really that it’s an issue.” 

Jessica Chastain Jessica Chastain

 

Thought you couldn’t love Jennifer Lawrence any more? Well, what she has just done might change that…

The Oscar winning actress is not afraid to speak her mind and has previously spoken out about a range of issues including the pressure on female actresses to lose weight for roles and how women are sexualised in the media. But one thing J-Law hadn’t spoken about is the gender pay gap in Hollywood, which is surprising given last year’s Sony hack where it was revealed that she was paid significantly less than her American Hustle male co-stars Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale.

See: 11 Reasons Jennifer Lawrence Is The Bomb

As we are aware, the difference in men and women’s salaries is a very real issue across all industries but especially so in Hollywood. Jennifer had resisted passing comment on this elephant in the room, until now.

Yep, Lawrence has written a pretty kick-ass essay for Lena Dunham’s feminist newsletter, Lenny in which she asks the question, “Why do I make less than my male co-stars?”

Lena Dunham co-founded Lenny

Starting the essay by expressing why it has taken her so long to speak out, Lawrence explains that she doesn’t like to jump on topics that are “trending” and joked, “I’m even the asshole who didn’t do anything about the ice-bucket challenge — which was saving lives — because it started to feel more like a “trend” than a cause.”

Check out: Jennifer Lawrence’s Amazing Fashion File

Lawrence makes the point that she didn’t speak up for fear of being unrelatable because she didn’t need the money. “It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relatable. When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, 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. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me).” We definitely don’t Jen.

Jennifer Lawrence The illustration that accompanied Lawrence’s Lenny letter

 

The actress continued, “I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.” And Jennifer believes this is the crux of the problem when dealing with pay equality. “I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable! F*** that,” she stated. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard.” The point perfectly highlights how when men negotiate they are seemed “fierce and tactical” but women are seen “as spoiled brats”.

Jennifer’s long-time co-star Bradley Cooper has waded into the debate, responding to the actresses open letter, by saying to E! news: “One thing I could say is that’s interesting because if you think that you only deserve a certain amount and that’s not correct, it’s about changing that mindset and sticking up for yourself the way that Sienna did. So that’s a great thing.”

A great thing indeed. Jennifer, we salute you!

By Elizabeth Bennett