Earlier this week, Jennifer Lawrence penned a beautifully poignant essay in Lenny on sexism in Hollywood. It was brief yet powerful, delving into the complex issue of expressing your opinion as a woman while still feeling “liked.” The essay also shed light upon the Sony hack and the massive film industry pay gap, something that affects even Lawrence, the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, on an outrageous level. That’s exactly why Bradley Cooper, who has co-starred with Lawrence several times now, is standing up and fighting for what’s right.
From now on, Cooper says he is teaming up with his female co-stars by sharing salary information with them before any future films go into production. That way, they will be able to negotiate for a fair amount, knowing what their male co-star will be making. “I don’t know where it’s changing otherwise,” he told Reuters of the Hollywood gender pay gap, “But that’s something that I could do.”
The Sony hack revealed that Cooper received 9% of the proceeds from American Hustle while Lawrence only received 7% — a huge difference, considering the film raked in $251.1 million at the box office. “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,” Lawrence wrote in her Lenny essay. “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.”
After some soul-searching, it occurred to Lawrence that she had previously been to afraid to stand up for what she deserves because of her need to be well-liked. “. . .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,’” she wrote. “For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.”
Telling Reuters it was “fantastic” that Lawrence used her immense popularity for such a great cause, he expressed his shock when he discovered what fellow American Hustle co-star Amy Adams had made from the film, which had won her a best actress nomination. “She worked every day on that movie and got paid nothing,” he told Reuters. “It’s really horrible actually, it’s almost embarrassing. . . [she] should have been paid more than everybody.”
Along with his own effort to rid the industry of the pay gap, he hopes that Lawrence’s essay will “allow people like Amy to also speak up,” he continued.
We applaud Cooper for starting a dialogue in a totally new way and for using his influence to create a revolution in the industry. “Usually you don’t talk about the financial stuff, you have people,” he told Reuters. “But you know what? It’s time to start doing that.”
(Image via Twitter.)