Wage Gap hits Hollywood


Photo Credit: vi.wikipedia.org

Lawrence recently admits her inspiration to about the wage gap came from her Hunger Game character, Katniss Everdeen.

As the fight for equality among the sexes continues, the spotlight is now on gender-wage gap. Statistically, in 2014, women were paid 79% of what men were paid (an average $6,203 difference), which is a 21% gap. The controversial topic has left the suburbs and now grasped the attention of big stars in Hollywood. Oscar winner and star of the Hunger Games films, Jennifer Lawrence, recently released an essay covering the profit inequality for actress Lena Dunham’s online blog, Lenny.

There is a 21% gap between the pay of men and woman in the United States. Credit: http://www.aauw.org
There is a 21% gap between the pay of men and woman in the United States. Credit: http://www.aauw.org

In the piece titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?”, Lawrence admits she has never been shy when talking about feminism. Junior Olivia Stevens believes “she could definitely make a difference when it come to the newer generation of girls, but the older male politicians who run the government won’t listen to her. However she could because she has an influence over the current population.”  Despite being vocal about the subject, she shares, “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.” She reveals she first realized the effect of the wage gap in her life after the Sony hack, when she discovered one of her male co-stars made eight million dollars more than her. Rather than blaming the entire subject on men, Lawrence blames herself for not negotiating and for giving up early when discussing her profit, however she admits “I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’  or ‘spoiled.’”, which is a stereotype many women are placed under.

Lawrence mentions how shocking it is for men to see a woman speaking her mind, and shares her first hand experience with a male co-workers response. Lawrence described the man’s reaction as though she had said something “personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong.” In the conclusion of her piece, the actress gives praise to former co-stars adding  “Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves”. She then shares her belief of how men would never have to suffer through the wage gap and stereotypes the way women do.

The actress’s essay caught the eye of the media as well as former male co-stars including Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson and Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper. In an interview with MTV, Hutcherson reveals how proud he is of Lawrence adding “For Jen to use her platform to speak about it in her classic Jen way, just blunt, saying what she thinks, I think it’s great.” Actor Jeremy Renner, another supporter, states “On the issue of gender equality I have always supported women deserving equal pay. Period.”

In early 2014, the White House marked different dates as Equal Pay Day, which is a day where the American people are to “take a step back” and observe the wage gap. According to the White House, “The pay gap goes beyond wages and is even greater when we look at workers’ full compensation packages.” Women are less likely to receive health insurance and a retirement savings plan, unlike their male employees. This document released from the White House covers a large range of topics where women are discriminated. After much discussion, the wage gap has become a prevalent issue in the United States thanks to influential stars including Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.