“Walking Dead” star Khary Payton stands up for Lauren Cohan with a powerful message to AMC: “Pay the woman”
The discussion of equal pay for women in Hollywood is, unfortunately, alive and well. But that isn’t stopping actresses like The Walking Dead‘s Lauren Cohan from fighting for their worth. And as per usual, we’re absolutely here for it.
Cohan is in the middle of a months-long dispute over her salary for season 9 of the popular zombie show. She’s been a mainstay of the series since season 2, when she first joined the cast as Maggie. Though her existing contract runs out at the end of the current season, all reports seem to indicate that Cohan was planning to stick around — until she started receiving low salary offers from AMC, that is.
The worst part? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cohan isn’t even asking to be paid the same as male leads Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon). However, she is pushing back on what sources say have been “lowball offers.”
Now Lauren Cohan is getting the vocal backing of Walking Dead co-star Khary Payton. The man behind King Ezekiel recently took to social media to voice his thoughts on the salary standoff.
Payton shared a picture of Cohan in an Instagram post, captioned with a simple yet powerful decree: “Pay the woman.”
The image has been liked more than 53,000 times. And there’s a ton of comments in support of Cohan’s quest to be paid what she deserves.
Cohan’s story comes on the heels of several other reports of salary issues highlighting gender inequality in Hollywood. In January, it was revealed that Michelle Williams made a small fraction of what co-star Mark Wahlberg earned for the film All the Money in the World. On top of that, when the cast and crew returned to reshoot portions of the movie after Kevin Spacey’s character was recast, she was paid a per diem of $80 — compared to Wahlberg’s $1.5 million for 10 days of filming.
While Wahlberg donated the $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, it still shined a troubling light on the perpetual gender wage gap, something in which Lauren Cohan is now mired.
While AMC has yet to respond to Payton’s post, Cohan’s been busy preparing for other projects. She just signed on to star in the ABC pilot Whiskey Cavalier alongside Scandal‘s Scott Foley.
So, we don’t know if Maggie will return for The Walking Dead‘s ninth season. But it seems we’ll see Lauren Cohan continue to dominate the small screen, one way or another. In the meantime, we echo the words of one King Ezekiel: Pay the woman!