So here’s the perfect bit of Monday workday inspiration, assuming you needed it. Charlize Theron took a firm (and entirely necessary) stand against Hollywood’s gender pay gap and demanded a $10 million increase on her paycheck for The Huntsman, so that she would be on par salary-wise with her male co-star Chris Hemsworth. Yes these are huge sums of money we’re talking about, but no matter the number of zeros men and women should be getting paid the same amount for the same work. Co-starring together in a film counts. Maddeningly, in the wake of the Sony hack, it was revealed that some men are STILL getting paid far more than women in Hollywood. Theron, apparently, had enough.
A source told Page Six that, “Charlize insisted that she get paid the same money as Chris. She has a great track record, so she got the same deal.”
Let’s compare credentials, shall we? Charlize Theron: Academy Award winning actress. Chris Hemsworth: Good actor, great abs. I have to assume it didn’t take much convincing that Theron was worth every bit (or more) of the $10 million-plus salary that her male co-star was receiving. And if you’ve seen Snow White and the Huntsman, the 2012 movie for which The Huntsman is a prequel, Theron’s ferocious and vulnerable Queen Ravenna steals the show. So, like, pay her fairly for her work.
Among the many ugly truths exposed by the Sony hack is that Hollywood is an industry that rewards men and women differently for the same, if not superior, work. Emails from the hack showed that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams received a smaller commision on the film American Hustle than their male counterparts. While Lawrence and Adams were paid 7% of the movie’s back-end profits, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper were offered 9%. This, despite the fact that both women won Golden Globes for their performances in the movies while the men took home zilch.
Charlize Theron obviously took note, and proved her worth by negotiating for equal pay. So the next time you’re seeking a promotion or working out a new offer for employment, remember your value and think: What Would Charlize Do?